Maj. Gen. Jerry Humble, head of the Gov.'s Office of Homeland Security, said Wednesday he knows of no terrorist threats specific to Tennessee.
Humble's comments came after an announcement in Washington by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller that "credible intelligence from multiple sources" indicates al-Qaida is determined to launch an attack within the United States in the next few months.
Ashcroft noted that after the March 11 train bombings in Madrid an al-Qaida spokesman said the terrorist organization's plans for an attack in America were 90 percent complete. That, plus a steady stream of intelligence about al-Qaida gathered before and after the Spain bombings, "suggest that it's almost ready to attack the United States," Ashcroft said.
Humble said the state's homeland security forces don't know of "any specific threat to any targets, or attack plans in Tennessee, nor do we have any operational cells."
"I think this is an approach as we go into these holidays of heightening the alert, bringing formerly classified information out into the public, without having us to go the level orange (terrorist alert) as we have at past holidays," Humble said. "This is not new information to the Gov.'s Office of Homeland Security, nor to law enforcement across Tennessee."
His office "does not rely on hope" as a deterrent, he said. Any citizen seeing something suspicious _ a large truck parked where it ought not be, or someone apparently surveying a potential target, for example _ should contact a local law enforcement agency, he said.