Feds Get July 4 Nuclear Plant Threat
W A S H I N G T O N, May 13 — U.S. intelligence officials have received threats that terrorists will strike a U.S. nuclear power plant July 4, and are reviewing the information to determine whether it is reliable.
The government is taking the threats seriously, though officials have preliminarily determined that the information is not credible enough to act upon, said a government official familiar with the investigation.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the alleged plot to attack on America's celebration of independence is one of scores of threats filtering through U.S. intelligence and is not considered serious enough to formally warn the American public or change the nuclear industry's already high level of alert.
"We will continue to assess the information, however," the source said.
The threat received last week suggested that an unidentified Islamic terrorist group is planning to attack the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania or another plant elsewhere in the Northeast, the source said.
The Washington Times first reported the threat.
—The Associated Press
3 Million Truckers Enlisted to Guard America
W A S H I N G T O N, May 13 — The trucking industry plans to enlist 3 million of its drivers in the war on terrorism.
Industry officials said Monday that employees would be trained to spot suspicious activities that could indicate a potential terrorist attack. They would be given a toll-free number to call to report anything out of the ordinary, with the information forwarded to law enforcement agencies.
The drivers would be asked to monitor bridges, highways, tunnels and ports, and fellow truckers as well, said an announcement by the Trucking Security Working Group, a coalition of trade associations.
"The trucking industry wants to make a contribution to national security and the war on terrorism," said Mike Russell, a spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, lead organization in the coalition. "We think this proposal makes the best use of what we do every day, and that is travel across America, keeping our eyes on what is going on."
There has been concern that terrorists could use a truck hauling gasoline or other hazardous materials to kill thousands of people, the way hijackers turned four airliners into flying bombs on Sept. 11.
CIA official Robert Walpole told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in March that terrorist groups or rogue nations were less likely to fire a missile at the United States than to use trucks, ships or planes to deliver chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
State transportation officials have stepped up surveillance of bridges and tunnels and have begun training maintenance workers on what to look for.
Last week, the Transportation Department's inspector general said there were insufficient federal and state safeguards to stop would-be terrorists from illegally obtaining commercial truck driver's licenses.
—The Associated Press
U.S. Man Eyed in Afghan Assassination
U.S. man's letter tied to Afghan death-report
W A S H I N G T O N, May 13 — U.S. officials believe that a letter partially drafted by U.S. postal worker now in custody may have had a role in the death of an Afghan resistance leader, the Washington Post reported on today.