Latest Terror Threat Targets Subways

Kelly said the city remained on the same heightened alert status on which it has been since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Fleet Week, an annual maritime celebration expected to draw 6,000 naval personnel to the city, was to go on as planned during the Memorial Day weekend.

A warning earlier this week from federal authorities that terrorists could be renting apartments to blow up the buildings prompted Los Angeles authorities to issue guidelines today telling landlords how to spot potential terrorists. Warning signs included little or no rental history or tenants who are rarely at the apartment or carry unusual items or boxes with extreme caution.

However, police warned they do not want landlords to engage in housing discrimination. "We're hoping people will exercise good judgment and not base renting decisions only on a person looking like they're of Middle Eastern descent," police spokesman Sgt. John Pasquariello said.

— The Associated Press

Bush Opposes Independent Probe of Intelligence

B E R L I N, May 23 — President Bush said today he opposes establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11, saying the matter should be dealt with by congressional intelligence committees.

Bush also expressed reservations about releasing a memo he received last August that carried a warning that Islamic extremists might try to hijack an airliner.

"We're still at war," the president said. "We've still got threats to the homeland that we've got to deal with, and it's very important for us not to hamper our ability to wage that war." He said it is important to act in a manner that does not jeopardize intelligence-gathering.

Bush said the investigation of possible intelligence lapses should be confined to Congress despite a call by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and others for a special commission.

Bush said the members of the Senate and House intelligence committees "understand the obligations of upholding our secrets and our sources and methods of collecting intelligence. And therefore I think that's the best place for Congress to take a good look at the events leading up to Sept. 11."

The president spoke at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on the first stop of a four-nation European trip.

Bush said he retains "great confidence" in the CIA and FBI despite revelations about advance intelligence that terrorists might hijack an airplane.

Bush's remarks came a day after Vice President Dick Cheney said a new series of public terror warnings was based on increased threats and was not a political strategy to deflect criticism of the administration's handling of pre-Sept. 11 intelligence.

"The fact is there is reason to believe that the threat level has increased somewhat," Cheney said Wednesday on CNN's Larry King Live. "We see more noise in the system, more reporting that leads us to be cautious here. We haven't changed our practices at all in terms of when we decide to go public and caution people."

Authorities continued to tighten security around New York City landmarks after the FBI disclosed uncorroborated information from detainees that sites such as the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge might be attacked.

Cheney said the White House was not raising the nationwide terrorism alert status — currently at yellow, the third-highest of five levels — because intelligence on possible attacks was too vague.

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