BBC NEWSAmericasAfricaEuropeMiddle EastSouth AsiaAsia PacificSpanishPortugueseCaribbean
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: Americas  
News Front Page
World
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent
-------------
Letter From America
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 14 February, 2003, 20:37 GMT
Some US attack threats 'fabricated'
A customer tries on a gas mask
Americans have stocked up on emergency supplies
Terrorist suspects probably lied when they warned that attacks on the United States were imminent, Bush administration officials have said.

But they added that the dubious tip-offs were not the sole basis for raising the alert across the US last week to orange, the highest level since the anniversary of the 11 September attacks.

Separately, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said there was no need to panic, though Americans were wise to take precautions.

Patrolling police officers
Security has increased visibly in US cities
There has been mass buying of supplies by people preparing to create shelters for a radiological or chemical attack.

Security was increased at sites across the US after intelligence officials decided there was a clear danger.

CIA Director George Tenet told a Senate committee on Tuesday: "This is the most specific [threat] we have seen."

Batteries of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles were set up around Washington and the capital's skies were patrolled by F-16 fighter jets and helicopters.

Lie-detector tests

The extra security is still in place despite the new concerns about the veracity of some information.

A senior administration official said terrorist suspects who had passed on news of the threats had been given lie-detector tests.

Authorities later decided the informants had probably fabricated their evidence, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Both Mr Ridge and President George W Bush stressed that business would carry on as usual in the capital and elsewhere.

Mr Bush said the raising of the "high-risk" orange alert was a "stark reminder of the era that we're in, that we're at war and the war goes on".

Mr Ridge said making preparations for an attack was sensible but he said there was no need "to start sealing the doors or windows".

Tight security remains in force at airports across the UK, where officials also had intelligence that the threat of an attack - possibly by al-Qaeda - had increased.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

13 Feb 03 | Americas
12 Feb 03 | Americas
13 Feb 03 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

 BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes