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THE NATION | IN BRIEF/WASHINGTON STATE

Terrorists See Seattle as 'Easy Target,' FBI Says

June 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Islamic terrorists consider Seattle an "easy target" because of its relatively high crime rate and a perception that police staffing levels are low, the FBI warned area officials.

Charles Mandigo, FBI special agent in charge of the Seattle office, told the King County Council that terrorists consider the area an "easy target," and an undisclosed number of potential local collaborators are "willing and able" to help commit terrorism.

Mandigo gave his assessment Wednesday in a homeland security hearing that was closed to the public shortly after it began. His prepared remarks were released by Sheriff Dave Reichert and reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said Mandigo's comments on terrorist threats are in line with other recently released information.

Kerlikowske also expressed concern about staffing, which has remained about the same for his force for the last 20 years while the city has grown by 50,000 people.

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