- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

1:21 p.m.

The FBI today interviewed a Milwaukee resident who officials think was involved in posting Internet threats about dirty-bomb attacks on NFL stadiums this weekend. The threats appeared to be phony.

The person, described as a 20-year-old man, did not appear to have any ties to terrorist groups, according to an FBI official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

“From the information we have, we believe he was involved to some extent, but we don’t know at what level,” said FBI Special Agent Douglas E. Porrini in Milwaukee.

“That person was released, but we’re not saying that he won’t be charged,” Mr. Porrini said. “We don’t know what his level of involvement was.”

The threats about radioactive bombs, posted on a Web site a week ago, were not backed up by intelligence indicating such an attack might be imminent, according to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Homeland security yesterday alerted the National Football League and authorities in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland and Cleveland, saying it was acting “out of an abundance of caution.”

The online posting, dated Oct. 12, was part of an ongoing conversation titled “New Attack on America Be Afraid.” It appeared on a Web site, the Friend Society, that links to various online forums and off-color cartoons. The site’s Internet provider declined to comment.

The message said trucks would deliver radiological bombs to stadiums in the alerted cities — and that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden would claim responsibility.

A dirty bomb would use conventional explosives to scatter radioactive material. Such a blast probably would not cause many deaths, specialists say, but the fear of contamination could spark panic. Land and buildings hit with radioactive particles might be unusable for years.

Authorities traced the site’s Internet provider to Voxel Dot Net Inc., which has support and engineering staff based in Troy, N.Y. A man who answered the phone at Voxel yesterday declined to give his name, said he was unaware of the posted threat and refused further comment.

The author of the threats, posted at 9:31 p.m. Oct. 12, identified himself online as “javness.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said stadiums are well-protected through “comprehensive security procedures” that include bag searches and pat-downs.

In Indianapolis, where the Colts were preparing for a home game this weekend, head coach Tony Dungy said, “I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a couple of years now, and you try and handle the security and put it out of your mind.”

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