NY: "Buildings Threatened By Terror" x 8 years (NY Post)

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Source: Al Gurat, New York Post, 8 July 2001

URL: http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/34299.htm

There have been "eight years of direct threats" by international terrorists against busy government buildings in lower Manhattan - despite public claims to the contrary by city officials, The Post has learned.

An internal memo written last year by a high-ranking federal law-enforcement official stationed at 26 Federal Plaza stated: "The threat issue that permeates this facility's vulnerabilities is predominantly caused by international radical terrorism (IRT), which has presented eight years of direct threats to N.Y.C. Civic Center Facilities."

The Civic Center includes city, state and federal courthouses, Police Headquarters, City Hall and other public structures clustered in lower Manhattan.

"Civic Center facilities are at the hub of the U.S. government's counter-terrorist war," continued the memo. "It is expected that IRT threats will continue to seriously impact the security of this facility for years to come."

The June 4, 2000, memo was written by Federal Protective Service regional criminal investigator John Crowe, who has access to intelligence and inside information on terrorist activity from the FBI, NYPD and other law-enforcement agencies, sources said.

Crowe sent the memo to his Federal Protective Service supervisors, director John Ulianko and metropolitan branch chief David Olson. Locally, the service is charged with protecting two federal courthouses, as well as 26 Federal Plaza and about 200 other sites around the city.

The memo's message stands in sharp contrast to the public stance of city, state and federal authorities that no "specific," "credible" or "direct" terrorist threats have been made against the city.

"Within the government, there's a panic," one insider said. "Outside the government, we hear there's no cause for panic."

Police officials claimed there was "no specific threat" of retaliation when henchmen of terror chief Osama bin Laden were convicted in Manhattan federal court in May for bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.

And in December 1999, Mayor Giuliani and former Police Commissioner Howard Safir assured the public just before the city's millennium celebration that no terror plots existed. "We're in constant contact with our federal partners," Safir told reporters at the time. "There's absolutely no indication of any specific threat against New York City."

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), July 09, 2001

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