FBI will monitor events for threats

Thursday, June 20, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The FBI is putting together a national operation to monitor and protect major July Fourth parades and festivities because of concern that terrorists might attack, officials said Wednesday.

The FBI is not reacting to any specific threat, one official said. But the interrogation of detainees at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has revealed a general interest in the day as a possible target, the official said, commenting on condition of anonymity.

The agency is requiring its 56 field offices to create plans for monitoring events in their regions. The monitoring will probably include several forms of electronic surveillance as well as a heavy presence of field agents, both apparent and undercover, the officials said.

Parades and festivities in downtown areas near subways or other mass-transit systems are of special concern, the officials said. Those activities would be more susceptible to a biological or chemical attack because of the large number of people packed into a small area.

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