Homeland Security to Justice Dept: “Terror Whuh?”

Ridge Homeland SecurityIt’s finally making the rounds that the Department of Homeland Security was mostly clued-out as to the recent warning that Al-Qaida was ready to strike. DHS is supposed to be responsible for issuing warnings and acts as a clearinghouse and conduit between intelligence agencies, however something seems to be misfiring in the communication between agencies. Newsday has the full story in “Terror warning surprises Homeland Security Dept.”:

Officials said the Homeland Security Department knew in advance about the news conference but expected it to focus on seven suspects with ties to al-Qaida who were wanted for arrest or questioning. Department officials were caught off guard when Ashcroft went further and warned that al-Qaida “is ready to attack the United States.”

[…]

Earlier on Wednesday, Ridge spoke on morning television shows and appeared to downplay the threat that Ashcroft would later trumpet, officials said. He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the threats are “not the most disturbing that I have personally seen during the past couple of years.”

So what happened? Did Ashcroft get a little overzealous in his press conference? Are these mixed signals part of an ingenious plot to make terrorists think our intelligence agencies are little more than Keystone cops tripping over each other? What gives?

Terror warning surprises Homeland Security Dept. [Newsday]


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