Report: Terrorists Heard Planning Major Attacks : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Report: Terrorists Heard Planning Major Attacks

Eight States Warned Of Possible Attacks

Posted: 7:52 a.m. EST November 2, 2001

Updated: 8:10 a.m. EST November 2, 2001

Intercepted telephone calls reportedly prompted Monday's federal warning that a terrorist attack could be imminent.

Citing senior government sources, The New York Times reports government officials intercepted phone conversations in recent days between members of Osama bin Laden's terror network.

The sources tell the Times that the terrorists spoke urgently of an attack against American targets -- even bigger than the Sep. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The sources say anti-terrorism experts believed the credibility of the calls to be high because they determined the callers didn't think anybody was listening in.

Some lawmakers criticized the terror warning, saying it wasn't specific enough. But the Times reports the Bush administration thought the phone intercepts were so worrying, they had little choice.

FBI Warns 8 States Of Possible Attacks Commuters in several Western states probably won't be thinking about the usual traffic hassles during rush hour.

The FBI is warning eight Western states that it has unconfirmed information that terrorists may be targeting West Coast suspension bridges.

The FBI said "unspecified groups" plan six "incidents" during rush hour between Friday and Wednesday.

The warning was sent to law enforcement agencies in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Idaho.

The Justice Department confirmed the warning after California Gov. Gray Davis said law enforcement officials had "credible evidence" that four California bridges -- including the Golden Gate -- may be targets.

Law enforcement said terrorists reportedly are plotting a rush-hour attack on the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge, both in San Francisco; the Vincent Thomas Bridge at the Port of Los Angeles, or the Coronado Bridge in San Diego.

The FBI office in Washington D.C. said the threat is not as credible as the one issued Monday by Attorney General John Ashcroft, CNN reported.

The attacks were planned between Friday and Nov. 9, Davis said.

Security around the bridges has been heightened and involves personnel ranging from the U.S. Coast Guard to the California Highway Patrol.

Davis said the information came from several law enforcement agences including the FBI.

Representatives of the FBI and the California Highway Patrol joined Davis at a press conference where he also named a former FBI agent as his special adviser on state security issues.

Davis announced his appointment of George Vinson, a 23-year veteran of the FBI, to the newly created post.

The state security officer will advise Davis on the latest anti-terrorism strategies and act as a liaison to the federal Office of Homeland Security, governor's spokesman Steve Maviglio said.

Copyright 2001 by

-- PHO (, November 02, 2001


"The sources say anti-terrorism experts believed the credibility of the calls to be high because they determined the callers didn't think anybody was listening in. "

I wonder how they determined this. Unfortunately for those listening, almost any overheard phone communication could be disinformation, or the real thing. Pretending that no one is listening would sure make disinformation seem more believable. Or those discussing it might have been told it is a real plan, but it may in fact be a smokescreen, and the speakers themselves might be deceived.

To imagine that listening to a phone call can distinguish these scenarios is a technologist's fantasy.

My own guess is that no serious new threat will be discussed over the phone, or if one is, it will be given an innocuous name that would normally be a topic of conversation.

-- neil (, November 02, 2001.

It's hard to imagine that any phone conversations over the phone wouldn't be in code, and we haven't been able to crack the terrorists' code yet, I don't believe. It's mistifying as to what is really going on.

-- Uncle Fred (, November 02, 2001.

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