Tell us the basis of those terrorist alerts

Monday, November 5, 2001

An already uneasy American public was shaken even more last Monday when Attorney General John Ashcroft and the FBI announced the nation should be on alert for more terrorist attacks within the week.

At a news conference, the government wouldn't say on what it based the need for the alert, only that it was issued on credible information. An alert issued on Oct. 11 was similarly vague.

A day after the latest alert was given, Americans found out why it was issued:

It was based on information obtained by Canadian officials supplied to the United States.

There is no reason that information couldn't have been conveyed when the alert was issued rather than many hours later. The information was indeed credible, but the vagueness only left Americans wondering how serious the threat really was.

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