Nation briefs 8A

Sunday, May 26, 2002

FBI: Small planes may be used for terror attacks

WASHINGTON -- The FBI has issued a fresh warning that terrorists may be interested in using small planes to carry out suicide attacks.

FBI supervisory special agent Steven Berry said Saturday the agency had issued an "intelligence update" to law enforcement regarding small planes but he declined to be more specific.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said on its Web site the alert was issued because the FBI "has received information indicating that terrorists may still be interested in using small general aviation aircraft for suicide attacks in the United States."

"Pilots are strongly encouraged to remain alert for suspicious activities anytime they are flying, or at an airport just before or after a flight," the association said. "Individuals observing anything suspicious should report it to the local FBI or law enforcement officials."

WTC beams help rebuild church's bell tower

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to bless two steel beams from the collapsed World Trade Center that will be used in rebuilding a church bell tower in the city's most historic neighborhood.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan sprinkled the 20-foot beams with holy water and sacred oil while a 60-by-40 foot American flag was hoisted. The beams were donated by New York City.

He said the new bell tower will stand as a memorial for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

"Yes, evil is powerful. We know this from Sept. 11," Sheehan said. "I believe good is even more powerful. From that destruction there will rise up new life and new spirit here in Barelas."

The new bell tower will be built in a former gymnasium across the street, where the sanctuary was moved after the church was razed.

Whistle-blower says FBI rewrote search warrants

WASHINGTON -- An FBI whistle-blower contends that the bureau's headquarters removed important information from a search warrant application whose rejection kept the government from learning more about terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui before Sept. 11.

Coleen Rowley wrote in a memo earlier this week that agents in Minneapolis became so frustrated by roadblocks erected by supervisors in Washington they began to joke that FBI headquarters was becoming an "unwitting accomplice" to Osama bin Laden's efforts to attack the United States, said government officials who have seen the memo.

As new details emerged about the letter Rowley wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller, key members of Congress sought on Friday to extend her whistle-blower protections and invited more agents to come forward.

White House to produce Enron-related documents

WASHINGTON -- The 2,000 or so people who work in President Bush's executive office have been given a week to produce any official documents dealing with their conversations or other contacts with Enron employees.

Alberto Gonzales, the top lawyer in the White House, issued a memo Friday instructing the employees to make "a reasonable, diligent and good-faith search" of all official documents in their possession and to certify in writing they have done so.

The order was in response to a Senate subpoena. The Governmental Affairs Committee has been seeking the information from the White House since late March as part of its Enron Corp. investigation.

The panel issued subpoenas Wednesday to the offices of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to compel the turnover of relevant documents by noon on June 3.

-- From wire reports

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