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Posted: 12/24/2003 8:24:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 8:35:27 AM EDT by 2whiskeyP]
Does it seem that the government is taking this threat a little more seriously than ones in the past?  We've gone to orange before and other than some additional security at airports etc. there was not that much hubub about it.  Do you think "they" know a little more than "they" are telling us?  What will it take to go RED?

I hope it is all just precautionary with the holidays being amongst us but I just have kind of an eerie feeling about it this time.  Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:30:29 AM EDT
They may think (or have proof) that Al-Qaeda had some guys trained as commercial airline pilots.  That would be scary.  Also what happened to that commercial airplane that disappeared in Africa?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:32:00 AM EDT
It does seem like this one is getting more attention.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:33:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dredd308:
It does seem like this one is getting more attention.
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Yep. Sure does.

Hope they're busting kneecaps in Gitmo...
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:36:17 AM EDT
... Can anyone here post legitimate civilian conditions associated with a code [b][red][size=3]red[/b][/red][/size=3] threat level?

... Is there anything we can or cannot do if [b][red][size=3]red[/b][/red][/size=3]?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:37:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 8:37:56 AM EDT by E-95]
Yes, things are definately a little more serious this time.  There are very specialized federal resources that have been upgraded to alert status which has never happened before.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:42:57 AM EDT
Tom Ridge mentioned in his original press release that they have the strongest indicators they have come upon since the original WTC attack.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:48:48 AM EDT
Let me put it this way. If this photo REALLY IS Union Square, NY (as captioned), then it's FRIGGIN' SERIOUS!

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:59:03 AM EDT
If this is true, then our intel must be pretty good...


[size=4]U.S. Has Flight Numbers of Specific Hijack Targets[/size=4]

Intelligence gathered by Homeland Security and Defense Department officials that caused terror alert levels to be elevated on Sunday included specific airline flight numbers targeted for hijacking by al-Qaeda as well as the names of airports involved in the plot.

"U.S. intelligence agencies had gathered detailed information about the plan, in which they said al Qaeda operatives would hijack foreign airliners and fly them into targets in the United States," reported NBC News late Tuesday.

"In some instances, the intelligence is so detailed as to include specific flight numbers," the network said.

"Federal air marshals, who usually fly only on domestic flights, are now boarding international airlines into those airports," NBC revealed.

U.S. officials said the highly detailed intelligence includes the name of at least one East Coast airport: New Jersey's Newark International, where incoming flights are being closely watched.

In addition to large urban centers like New York and Los Angeles, al-Qaeda is also believed to be targeting Las Vegas, according to the network's sources. Las Vegas is the nation's No. 2 vacation destination and is scheduled to host a number of large conventions and trade shows beginning next month.

Surface-to-air missiles have been deployed by the Pentagon to many of the cities most likely to be targeted.
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Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:04:35 AM EDT
Here's another eye-opener:


[size=4]Al-Qaeda Wants Big Strike Soon [/size=4]
NewsMax Wires
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Travelers by air, land and sea faced heightened security Monday as the nation steeled itself against a possible grandiose terrorist attack that government officials say al-Qaida has signaled could be imminent. President Bush advised people to "go about their lives."
"Our government is doing everything we can to protect our country," Bush said. "American citizens need to go about their lives, but as they do so, they need to know that governments at all levels are working as hard as we possibly can to protect the American citizens."

A major factor in the decision to raise the nation's terror alert level from "elevated" to "high" was the holiday season, when more people are distracted and traveling and large numbers of people gather at events ranging from football bowl games to massive New Year's celebrations in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

[red]Yet the latest decision to go from "yellow" to "orange" on the terror risk scale was also based on specific, corroborated intelligence that al-Qaida may soon attempt to pull off a coordinated attack in multiple places to cause mass casualties - an attack that authorities said might eclipse that of Sept. 11, 2001.

"There are a number of credible sources that suggest the possibility of attacks around the holiday season and beyond," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. Such attacks, he added, are expected by terrorists being monitored overseas to "rival or exceed the scope" of those on Sept. 11 that killed about 3,000 people. [/red]

Several U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had no specifics about a potential method, location or time of any attack. But they continued to point toward aviation as a prime possibility, noting that al-Qaida tends to return to what worked in the past.

"We know, tragically, they turned four airplanes into missiles," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told reporters after a meeting of Bush's Homeland Security Council, which recommended the change in terror threat level on Sunday.

Cargo planes and flights originating overseas were of special concern. Officials say steps have been taken to improve security in both areas, but some critics call for the screening of all packages on cargo planes to prevent smuggling of bombs.

Robert Bonner, commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection Bureau, said his agency has boosted inspections at all 301 U.S. entry points. [red]Holiday leaves were canceled for Customs and Border Patrol agents. [/red]

"We are increasing our scrutiny of both people and vehicles coming into the United States," Bonner told The Associated Press in an interview. "I believe we will be able to increase to correspond to level orange without undue delays."

A particular focus, Bonner said, is screening of cargo containers at seaports in the United States and abroad.

Defense Department officials said they were launching more military air patrols over major cities, but they would provide no details. Other government sources said, however, that New York, Washington and Los Angeles were likely choices.

State Department Advisory

The State Department advised all U.S. embassies of the change in terror alert level and had previously issued a worldwide caution about recent terror attacks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and elsewhere. Spokesman Richard Boucher said threats in those places were not diminished by the increased risk of attack within the United States.

"We have been concerned and need to be concerned worldwide because of the nature of the group that we're dealing with," Boucher said. "Al-Qaida has worldwide capabilities."

The United Nations put its headquarters staff in New York on high alert as well. The U.N. was recently the target of a deadly terrorist bombing in Baghdad that killed a senior official.

The Bush administration coupled its message of extra vigilance with an appeal to Americans not to abandon plans to travel, even if airports presented more of a hassle because of increased vehicle and baggage searches, police with bomb-sniffing dogs and parking restrictions.

"If you got holiday plans, go. Don't change them," Ridge said. "We cannot be burdened by that threat or fear. We need to be alert to it."

People were urged to give themselves extra time to get through airport security. The Transportation Security Administration put a travel tips bulletin on its Web site ([url]www.tsa.gov[/url]).

Another layer of protection was likely put in place over the past 24 hours that is not outwardly apparent, security experts said. Among the likely steps was an increase in the number of air marshals, particularly on flights arriving from overseas, and undercover surveillance around airports, said Brian Jenkins, research associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University and a special adviser to the Rand Corp.

Federal officials would not discuss their planning at such a detailed level.

Most travelers appeared to take the restrictions in stride, several airport officials said.

"I'm always impressed with passengers' ability to respect security concerns. The mood is very supportive," said Fred Szabo, commissioner of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Across the country, security was strengthened for key bridges, tunnels, seaports and landmarks, as well as nuclear and chemical facilities and other installations that might be vulnerable to attack. At the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, officials said heightened security would include increased patrols and police vehicles.

"You hate to see that, but that's part of our plan," said Ken Schaefer, superintendent of the arch.

[red]Law enforcement officials have repeatedly also warned that al-Qaida might try to attack softer targets, such as malls or hotels, that have fewer security obstacles and which will be crowded this time of year.[/red]
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Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:49:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Let me put it this way. If this photo REALLY IS Union Square, NY (as captioned), then it's FRIGGIN' SERIOUS!

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... Those guys are pussycats. I spoke with them once. They're simply a high-visibility image-projection. It's just a small band of SWAT guys that are slow. The all have their schedulse laid out for them a months ahead of time.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:55:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Let me put it this way. If this photo REALLY IS Union Square, NY (as captioned), then it's FRIGGIN' SERIOUS!

View Quote

There are several teams in Rockefeller Plaza and the underground shopping mall/subway.

They are crawling all over the place.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:59:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... Those guys are pussycats. I spoke with them once. They're simply a high-visibility image-projection. It's just a small band of SWAT guys that are slow. The all have their schedulse laid out for them a months ahead of time.
View Quote

Maybe. I grew up in NYC and never once saw a cop with anything bigger than a handgun. These guys are packing M4's and boddy armor. Considering how Liberal NYC is, it's very telling that these guys are out on the street, and even "crawling all over the place".

I think this time the .gov may really be on to something, and they're not taking chances.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:08:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 10:09:45 AM EDT by Strats]
They're in front of the NYSE all day. Along with having all streets with one block of the Exchange blocked with concrete barricades and trucks.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:25:32 AM EDT
We'll I don't know how Al-q operates.   but they got to know where listening to ever channel they have avialable and we probably have people in al-q itself.  just like they probably have people somewhere in the US working as intel or somewhere in the goverment.

I would think they would know better than to give out detailed information online or over a cell phone or sat phone.  terriost ain't stupid there chicken shit's.

I don't see them being able to use airplanes every again as weapons. maybe a  two seat airplane or something like that, but no cargo or passenger jets.  We do give out too much info from news and what not.  I don't see an attack in the United states for along time, maybe in like 10-15 years but no sooner.  Then again I  have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:34:13 AM EDT
I am not worried about an attack in the slightest. This whole thing is bullshit.
I believe the govt is sincere in their intentions but its nothing more than playing it safe.

Ok so there is significant chatter, big deal.
The terrorists are just rattling sabers and blowing smoke to scare the soccer moms because they don't have the infrastructure to do much else.
We have kicked their asses and they know it.

Mark my words...nothing significant is going to happen. Unless you consider mass inconvenience "significant".

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:36:32 AM EDT
But it looks like they could use a lesson in muzzle discipline.  They both seem to have that little kid covered?

And yes, it does seem like this is a more "credible" threat this time.  Either that, or they decided that it would be better to let more info on what they have based raising the alert level out.

But given the additional personel around, it just may be they have some real hard info.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:47:29 AM EDT
I suspect that the intercepts are factual.  However, this all may be a false alarm to see how the US responds to a credible threat, and no more.  Even al-qaeda knows better than to chatter on an open line.  Ops
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