Tags: Warnings | Potential | Terror | Proliferate

Warnings of Potential Terror Proliferate

Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM

Cheney's warning of potential dangers and his explanations and those from several other administration officials of the handling of pre-Sept. 11 warnings multiplied on public affairs programs and in news reports Sunday and Monday.

Orlando, Fla. police Sunday said the water supply at one of the nation's premier vacation destinations may be threatened by a terrorist attack and, separately, a study suggested security at water supply facilities serving New York was "startling" in its shortcomings.

The New York Times Monday reported tens of thousands of foreigners are illegally obtaining Social Security numbers.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Sunday said increased "chatter" being picked up by intelligence gatherers suggests another major terrorist project may be under way.

Homeland security chief Tom Ridge Sunday asked citizens to be alert and ready to contact authorities after the Thursday FBI warning that terrorists might rent apartments in high rise apartment buildings to pack with explosives with which to destroy the buildings.

Time Magazine reported Monday that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy agreed with Republican committee member Arlen Specter to threaten FBI director Mueller with a subpoena if his investigators continue to refuse access to an Aug. 6 memo from an agent in Phoenix who warned that flight schools were seeing suspicious students.

The agent, Kenneth Williams, is not commenting on the memo.

The congressional panel investigating the nation's state of readiness when terrorists struck in September is racked with internal strife and disagreements over what is its ultimate goal, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Cheney, on the "Fox News Sunday," program said, "I think that the prospects of a future attack on the U.S. are almost a certainty.

"It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, it could happen next year, but they will keep trying and we have to be prepared," he said.

Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary told a news conference Sunday that he has received "vague and unsubstantiated" reports that his area's water supply could be tampered with.

He asked residents to report any suspicious activity, according to WFTV-TV. Other law enforcement officials echoed the warning, including the police chief of Orlando, the home of Walt Disney World.

A New York State Assembly Committee on Investigation has issued a report that the New York City water system, which serves nine million people, is potentially vulnerable to biological and chemical attacks, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Chairman Jeff Klein said, "Unfortunately, what we found was very startling," particularly the easy access to sensitive facilities.

Newsweek Magazine said the White House "message discipline" was falling apart under the strain of criticism.

The New York Times report on illegal Social Security numbers said preliminary signs are that 100,000 numbers were wrongly issued to noncitizens in 2000 and that one in 12 foreigners obtains the numbers using fake documents.

The FAA decided not to warn U.S. airlines about the arrest of student pilot Zacarias Moussaoui, the man who paid cash to a Minnesota flight school to learn to fly a Boeing 747 and who is now under trial, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The FAA said it did not have enough information to issue such a warning. Only after Sept. 11 did authorities conclude Moussaoui was training to join the terrorist suicide teams that flew planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

Some hardliners within the Bush administration have criticized White House spokesman Ari Fleisher for confirming the substance of another memo warning of potential threats, Newsweek Magazine reported Monday.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Cheney's warning of potential dangers and his explanations and those from several other administration officials of the handling of pre-Sept. 11 warnings multiplied on public affairs programs and in news reports Sunday and Monday. Orlando, Fla. police Sunday said the...
Warnings,Potential,Terror,Proliferate
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2002-00-20
Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM
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