- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Homeland Security Department bulletin released yesterday warned of a terrorist attack during seven National Football League games Sunday but says the threat, which was posted on a crude animation site, lacks credibility.

Special Agent Richard Kolko said that the FBI works with the NFL on a regular basis, and the that threat will be part of this week’s “routine discussions.”

“We are aware of the threat reporting and have worked with the Department of Homeland Security to advise our state and local partners as well as the concerned security representatives at sporting venues. While the credibility of the threat is questionable, we have passed the information on because it has been carried in some open-source reporting,” Mr. Kolko said.

The warning appeared Monday on a discussion thread on the Web site the Friend Society, saying that “dirty bombs delivered in trucks will be detonated outside stadiums at NFL games in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland, and Cleveland on 22 October.”

The memo issued by Homeland Security said, “The content of the website, which requires registration to post, is sometimes crude and contains none of the hallmarks of jihadist websites.”

“We view this Web posting with extreme skepticism,” said William Knocke, Homeland Security spokesman. “Out of an abundance of caution, we issued a private-sector note this afternoon to state and local officials, and private-sector owners and operators of stadiums, to inform them of an open-source Web posting that suggests dirty-bomb threats outside of select stadiums.

“There is no credible intelligence to indicate such an attack,” he said. “The department strongly encourages the American public to continue to go about their daily lives, to go to large public gatherings, to attend football games and to report anything they see that is suspicious to the authorities and be diligent.”

The Washington Redskins will play this week in Indianapolis, which was not on the list of targeted stadiums.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told reporters that the league’s stadiums have “comprehensive security procedures.”

Oakland Raiders official Artie Gigantino said California’s stadium security would not increase noticeably this weekend but “if we say we are going to do something different or obvious, it wouldn’t be security anymore.”

The threat appeared as part of a thread titled “New Attack on America Be Afraid” that included a rambling conversation on a variety of topics, including the threat, written by a poster who identifies himself as “javness.”

“The death toll will approach 100,000 from the initial blasts and countless other fatalities will later occur as result from radioactive fallout,” javness said. “The bombs themselves will be delivered via trucks. These trucks will pull up to stadiums hosting NFL games in each respective city. … Due to the open air, the radiological fallout will destroy those not killed in the initial explosion. The explosions will be near simultaneous.”

“The 22nd of October will mark the final day of Ramadan as it would fall in Mecca. Al Qaida will automatically be blamed for the attacks. [L]ater, through Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden will issue a video message claiming responsibility for what he dubbed ‘America’s Hiroshima,’ ” the post said. “In the aftermath, civil wars will erupt across the world, both in the Middle East and within the United States. Global economies will screech to a halt. Regenerable chaos will rule.”

On the subsequent discussion, poster “Radicum” noted that “football arenas are an unlikely target,” while “Kim Possible” said “this isn’t something you should joke about.”

“Moo the Magic Cow” responded: “lol cia watch list.”

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