2005-05-01

Terrordrohungen vs. USA auf Tiefstand

--- Ständig werden aus politischem Kalkül Terrorängste geschürt, doch zumindest in den USA haben die ernsthaften Warnungen vor Anschlägen einen Tiefstand erreicht, berichtet die Washington Post: Reports of credible terrorist threats against the United States are at their lowest level since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to U.S. intelligence officials and federal and state law enforcement authorities. The intelligence community's daily threat assessment, developed after the terrorist attacks to keep policymakers informed, currently lists, on average, 25 to 50 percent fewer threats against domestic targets than it typically did over the past two years, said one senior counterterrorism official. A broad cross section of counterterrorism officials believes al Qaeda and like-minded groups, in part frustrated by increased U.S. security measures, are focusing instead on Americans deployed in Iraq, where the groups operate with relative impunity, and on Europe. Though some are expressing caution and even skepticism, interviews last week with 25 current or recently retired officials also cited progress in counterterrorism operations abroad and a more experienced homeland security apparatus for a general feeling that it is more difficult for terrorists to operate undetected. The officials represent federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, state and local homeland security departments and the private sector. "We are breathing easier," said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, whose officers guard one of al Qaeda's expressed targets, and who is regularly briefed by the FBI and CIA. "The imminence of a threat seems to have diminished. We're just not as worried as we were a year ago, but we certainly are as vigilant." ... But some intelligence analysts caution that the drop-off in terrorist-related planning, communication and movement could be a tactical pause by al Qaeda and related terrorist groups. No one suggests the threat has gone away.

Sonst noch interessant: Bolton's a Tough Guy With a Cause. When John R. Bolton charged into the State Department in 2001 as President Bush's top arms control official, he thought of himself as a loyal Republican soldier on a mission into hostile political territory, according to friends and colleagues, LA Times.

N. Korea Lashes Out at 'Hooligan' Bush. North Korea appeared to slam the door on a diplomatic solution to its nuclear impasse with the Bush administration in a sharply worded denunciation Saturday, calling the president a "philistine" and a "hooligan" with whom it could not negotiate, LA Times.

Zur Debatte um "Impact Blogs": At Los Alamos, Blogging Their Discontent. A blog rebellion among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos, New York Times.