Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

Attorney General to Warn Americans of New Terrorist Threats

Aired October 29, 2001 - 16:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We have some news to report from John King at the White House.

John, are you there?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm here, Judy.

CNN has learned that in about 30 minutes from now, Attorney General John Ashcroft will hold a news conference to announce what we are told by senior administration officials is a new threat, a threat of a domestic terrorist act against the United States. You will recall, about a week to 10 days ago, the FBI posted a warning on its Web site, distributed that warning to law enforcement agencies around the country, saying they should be on high alert for the possibility of domestic terrorist attacks here in the United States or on U.S. interest overseas.

CNN is told by two senior administration officials, the attorney general wanted to make this announcement himself because of new -- quote, unquote -- "credible intelligence information," leading law enforcement authorities in the United States to believe there is now again a very high risk of a domestic terrorist attack here in the United States or on U.S. interest overseas -- obviously, a very delicate environment -- the administration saying it will do all it can to relay credible information about this threat to the American people as soon as possible.

About 30 minutes from now, we are told the attorney general will do that himself -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, are you picking up any information at all about the source or what this is based on?

KING: We are not, except for the fact that both senior administration officials said this is new and believed to be very credible intelligence information.

There has been speculation and some intelligence leads both here in the United States and overseas that the bin Laden network might be planning a second wave of attacks on the United States -- no confirmation from our sources that that is particularly what they are looking at here. But we do know the attorney general has scheduled a news conference for 5:30 -- and in making phone calls to try to find out what that was about, two senior administration officials telling us Mr. Ashcroft wanted to directly make the announcement of this new threat, urging once again law enforcement agencies around the country to be on the highest level of alert.

Most have been on such a level of alert since September 11. They were certainly reminded by the FBI just over a week ago to maintain that high state of alert. The attorney general will make that announcement -- again, this announcement, we are told, directed not only at those law enforcement agencies here in the United States and overseas, but also at the American people, urging them, everyone, to be on the highest sense of personal security alert, if you will, watching for suspicious activity around them -- again, more details from the attorney general in about 30 minutes.

WOODRUFF: John, what is your understanding of what causes information like this to rise to the level of putting out an alert like this? I mean, I know we have had at least one other situation since September 11 where they have put out the word. But for the attorney general himself to do it, I mean, this -- we know they are inundated with threats everyday. What causes them to respond in this dramatic fashion?

KING: When they have intelligence information that they then corroborate from other sources, and they believe it is credible information, they believe they have a responsibility to make that information public.

And, as you noted, it is a very delicate area for the administration to walk in, whether the issue be anthrax, whether the issue be the perceived -- or information about a possible threat, either of terrorism here in the United States or on U.S. interests overseas, the administration very careful in how it makes these announcements. In this case, we are told they believe this intelligence information to be both timely and credible.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King at the White House again telling us that the attorney general, John Ashcroft, will be making a statement in about half an hour describing a new threat of expected or suspected terrorism that may be planned against the United States.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top