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Ashcroft confirms new terror threat

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As Attorney General John Ashcroft defended his refusal to release the names of people arrested or detained in connection with the sweeping terrorism investigation, there were more warnings that Osama bin Laden's followers may be planning an attack on U.S. soil.


Ashcroft said the release of a list of the detainees' names would be a violation of privacy and be tantamount to a "blacklist." He also said release of the names could aid bin Laden by letting him know who was being held by U.S. law enforcement agencies. "If he wants such a list, he'll have to try and assemble it himself."

Ashcroft did say the Justice Department would release an updated list of the number of such individuals later in the week. The number of detainees had climbed to 1,147 at one point. (Full story)

In a court in Virginia, the case of an Indonesian immigrant facing charges of documentation fraud took a serious turn Monday when an FBI agent testified at Agus Budiman's detention hearing that Budiman had ties to alleged September 11 terrorist ring leaders Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi. (Full story)

The U.S. oil and gas industry put itself on an increased security alert following a FBI warning of a possible retaliatory strike by supporters of bin Laden, according to industry sources. (Full story)

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Attack on America
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Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
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On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
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Ashcroft confirmed the threat but provided little detail.

One source said the FBI issued an alert based on "uncorroborated" information that Osama bin Laden or Taliban leader Mullah Omar may have approved plans to attack natural gas supplies in the United States" in the event either man is captured or killed.

NASA began its three-day countdown on Monday for the launch of space shuttle Endeavour with tight security at the Cape Canaveral, Florida, spaceport for the first launch since the September 11 attacks. (Full story)

Ashcroft named Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg Monday to handle a special fund to compensate the people injured and relatives of the dead and missing in the September 11 attacks.

The fund is part of an airline bailout bill signed by President Bush in September. The bill did not set a specific amount for victims, saying a "special master" would determine individual awards.

The investigation into how 94-year-old widow Ottilie Lundgren contracted anthrax has produced no solid clues and is at a "dead end," Connecticut Gov. John Rowland said Monday. (Full story)

Eighteen people have contracted anthrax infections and five have died. Investigators believe bacteria-tainted letters sent to government and news outlets are responsible for the infections, although links have been hard to establish in some cases.


What order did President Bush give that allows for the detention of terrorism suspects? Click here for more

Could the detainees be held for years? Click here to learn more on one case

Learn about one tool the FBI may be using to investigate suspects. Click here for more

What is the government doing to fortify homeland defense? Click here for more

What are tips to know in the wake of the attacks? Click here for more


George W. Bush: U.S. president Click here for more.

Laura Bush: First lady of the United States, she has become more visible since the terrorist attacks, making public appearances urging parents and teachers to help reassure children that everything is being done to try to keep them safe. Click here for more

Tom Ridge: Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position Click here for more

Richard Clarke: Head of efforts to safeguard information systems for the Office of Homeland Security Click here for more

Wayne Downing: Retired Army general tapped as deputy national security adviser Click here for more

Joe Allbaugh:The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Click here for more

Dr. David Satcher: Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click here for more

Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more

Michael Bloomberg: Mayor-elect of New York

Anthony A. Williams: Mayor of Washington

Dr. Ivan Walks: Director of the Department of Health for the District of Columbia

Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary

Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary

Jane Garvey: FAA administrator


The latest figures provided by federal and local officials give the following totals for the number of people dead or missing from the September 11 attacks.

WORLD TRADE CENTER: According to New York City officials, 3,962 are missing, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 490 bodies have been identified.

PENTAGON: 64 dead on hijacked plane; another 125 dead or missing

PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane


The attacks of September 11 have sparked new debate about balancing the protection of U.S. citizens with the protection of the civil rights of those suspected of terrorism.

While the United States is proud of the freedoms and the legal rights guaranteed by the Constitution, authorities and many citizens have argued those people who seek to destroy America do not deserve such protections while they represent an ongoing threat to the country.

While those arguments continue, so do the threats against U.S. interests. Security remains high at airports, certain industries and many government facilities.

Those who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks are a little closer to getting compensated from a special federal fund now that someone has been appointed to determine the size of individual awards.


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