RealNews

Alert-And Anxious

Long before the air raid sirens went off in Baghdad last week, U.S. officials were sounding alarm bells in Washington– about possible retaliatory strikes by Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein’s agents, assorted other terrorist groups, and various wannabe suicide bombers. The FBI issued a grim advisory to police, seeking a 27-year-old Saudi Arabian named Adnan el Shukrijumah, saying he may have lived in Florida, trained at a flight school around the same time as some of the 9/11 hijackers, and could be planning attacks. Even before that, the tension ratcheted up when the homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge, raised the color-coded terror alert level a notch to orange, or “high.” In an effort to shut down illegal money schemes tied to terrorists, federal agents last week staged raids in five states, arresting nine people connected to smuggling money abroad and selling fake passports to people in Lebanon, Yemen, Pakistan, and other countries. Across the country, police departments canceled vacations, ordered plainclothes detectives to wear uniforms, posted National Guard units at sensitive sites, and beefed up security at bridges, power plants, tunnels, and monuments. Near Phoenix, the National Guard was deployed at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant after intelligence reports indicated al Qaeda might target it. At one U.S. border checkpoint, radiation alerts went off. “They go off all the time,” says one federal law enforcement official, “but we have to check them out.” Says another: “There are so many threats that we’re running down right now, everybody is absolutely swamped.” Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.