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Archive for September, 2011

AP source: Specific, unconfirmed threat received

Friday, September 9th, 2011

By Eileen Sullivan
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Counterterrorism officials said Thursday they are investigating a credible but unconfirmed terror threat involving New York or Washington.

The threat was so specific, and coming at a time of already heightened security just days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, that it could not be ignored, a counterterrorism official told The Associated Press. The official requested anonymity to discuss sensitive security information.

Officials would not tell the AP what specifically is being targeted in New York or Washington or the timing of a potential attack. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said raising the terror alert is under consideration.

A law enforcement official in New York, also speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security information, described the threat as credible but declined to give details.

Information gleaned from Osama bin Laden’s compound in May indicated that al-Qaida had considered attacking the U.S. on the 10th anniversary and other important dates. Security has been enhanced around the country, including in New York and Washington, in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s anniversary.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the threat information Thursday morning and directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to the credible but unconfirmed information, a White House official said.

“There were very, very specific facts that were made known in this threat,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told CNN. “I would tell people right now to go about their lives. There’s no need to panic. We don’t know if this threat is real yet. It’s being tracked down.”

White House officials said there were no plans to change Obama’s travel schedule on Sunday in light of the threat. The president is scheduled to mark the 9/11 anniversary with stops at New York’s ground zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. He will also deliver remarks Sunday night at a memorial concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

“It’s accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information,” Homeland Security Department spokesman Matt Chandler said in a statement. “As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days.”

The threat was received late Wednesday night, the counterterrorism official told the AP, and law enforcement has been investigating its validity since. The threat came in a single piece of information and intelligence officials could not determine if it was related to previous intelligence, the official said.

Thursday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters that there was “a lot of chatter” around the anniversary of the attacks but that there was no information about a specific threat.
——

Associated Press writers Julie Pace in Washington and Tom Hays in New York contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Southport, BCC officials debate road plan

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The Brunswick Community College Board of Trustees wants to know how Southport can build a road behind the college’s Lord Street property and how a new road would affect renovation plans.

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US citizen linked to Al Qaeda terror plot on 9/11 anniversary

Friday, September 9th, 2011

By BRIAN ROSS, RHONDA SCHWARTZ, RICHARD ESPOSITO, PIERRE THOMAS, JASON RYAN and MATTHEW COLE
ABC News

US authorities are scrambling to sort through information that the CIA developed in the past 24 hours indicating that at least three individuals entered the US in August by air with the intent to launch a vehicle-borne attack against Washington, DC, or New York around the anniversary of 9/11, according to intelligence officials.

Officials say the alleged terror plot was initiated by new al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News that at least one of the individuals is a US citizen and one official said that two of the individuals may have had US documentation — whether green cards or passports was unclear.

As news of the information became public, authorities began weighing whether to raise the national threat level.

Although authorities said they had not yet identified the suspects, the operatives are believed to have embarked on their journey to the U.S. from the tribal areas of Pakistan, according to two senior officials. One official said the route may have taken them through Dubai.

The information on the plot was “very specific ” said one official, adding ” It seems like the information has been worked for a while.” A second and third official confirmed the specifics of the possible plot added that a declassified bulletin is expected to be issued shortly.

Multiple sources say that federal authorities will send a bulletin to law enforcement tonight. The threat, one official told ABC News, is credible. Now authorities are making every effort to confirm it and to hunt down any plotters.

To read the rest of this story visit http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/feds-threat-al-qaeda-terror-attack-911/sto…

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Berger won’t resign; blames other commissioners for distractions

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after his fellow commissioners called for his resignation, New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger held a new conference of his own this evening. Despite what his colleagues want, a defiant Berger said he would not resign and blamed the other commissioners for the distractions caused by his personal life becoming public.

“I’m not gonna let individuals on the board, who for quite some time have had different ideas about the way direction New Hanover County is going dictate to me whether or not I should be on the board,” Berger said. “The reality is they were not among my supporters, but it is the people who elected me I have a responsibility to serve, as well as the people who did not vote for me. I take that responsibility seriously. I don’t do a perfect job. I’m human. Fallible. I believe I have been an effective commissioner and will be more effective moving forward.”

Berger said his presence on the commission has sparked debate and protected taxpayers against potentially harmful policies. He said without him he has no confidence that would continue.

“I know I do a very effective job when it comes to informing the public and making sure the public is aware of decision being made that effect their lives and their wallets,” Berger said.

Berger also blamed his fellow board members for the distractions affecting the commission, claiming they have tried to exploit his issues for political gain.

“In hindsight, I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions in my personal life, but the constant hand-wringing and attention some other members of the board have devoted to my private life has in fact created a distraction the actual events did not create,” Berger said.

Berger did apologized to the Wilmington Police Department and Chief Ralph Evangelous for saying the department lied on a report about the suicide attempt at Berger’s home last week.

“If my e-mail was worded poorly, I apologize,” Berger said.

Berger also explained why he did not address his recent personal issues at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. He said that discussing his personal problems was not appropriate for a regular commission meeting and that he was not going to drag down the board from discussing the issues on the agenda by bringing them up. He said he always planned to talk about them after Tuesday’s meeting, despite the fact he told WWAY Monday he might talk about it Tuesday.

“I can say unequivocally that that week was an aberration,” Berger said. “If I was to resign because of some issues in my personal life, which I am addressing in private where they belong, then isn’t valid to ask for the resignation of commissioners who threaten violence against other elected officials and members of the general public?”

Berger was clearly referring to incidents involving Jason Thompson and Jonathan Barfield several months ago. Thompson invited Leland Mayor Walter Futch into the parking lot during a meeting on transportation issues. New Hanover County School Board members claimed Barfield threatened them over issues they disagreed with him on.

Berger said he is insulted by comments Barfield has made about worrying about threats to safety from Berger. Berger said he has no history of violence. He said while violence may be “the style” of other commissioners, it is not his.

Berger asked for forgiveness from citizens after apologizing for exposing them to “some aberrant and erratic behavior in my personal life.”

“I’m not a very good politician. I’m not a politician at all. I don’t have the charisma politicians usually have or the articulation, but I am sincere and genuine, and my comments this evening are just that,” Berger said.

Despite the apology Berger refused to explain what led to him winding up in the hospital after the reported suicide attempt. He also refused to answer questions many county residents have raised about how the judgment he has shown in his personal life may translate to his judgment as a commissioner.

More: continued here

Berger won’t resign; apologizes to WPD

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after his fellow commissioners called for his resignation, New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger held a new conference of his own this evening. Despite what his colleagues want, Berger said he would not resign.

“I’m not gonna let individuals on the board, who for quite some time have had different ideas about the way direction New Hanover County is going dictate to me whether or not I should be on the board,” Berger said. “The reality is they were not among my supporters, but it is the people who elected me I have a responsibility to serve, as well as the people who did not vote for me. I take that responsibility seriously. I don’t do a perfect job. I’m human. Fallible. I believe I have been an effective commissioner and will be more effective moving forward.”

Berger also apologized to the Wilmington Police Department and Chief Ralph Evangelous for saying his department lied on a report about the suicide attempt at Berger’s home last week.

“If my e-mail was worded poorly, I apologize,” Berger said.

Berger also explained why he did not address his personal issues at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.

“I can say unequivocally that that week was an aberration,” Berger said.

More: continued here

 

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