European Terrorists a Threat to the U.S.?

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Homeland Security says European terrorists are trying to get in to the U.S. And they're focusing on recruiting people with legitimate Western European passports.

"The terrorists are deliberately focusing on people who have legitimate Western European passports, who don't appear to have records as terrorists," Secretary Michael Chertoff told lawmakers.

"I have a good degree of confidence we can catch people coming in. But I have to tell you. there's no guarantee. And they are working very hard to slip by us," he said.

Chertoff did not offer any new information about specific threats or an imminent attack, but he and other intelligence officials have issued similar warnings in the past.

Chertoff drew attention to other types of terrorist threats facing the U.S., namely terrorists smuggling radiological material into the country on small boats or private aircraft.

The Homeland Security Department has a strategy to protect against this small boat vulnerability. They are also testing radiation detection equipment in Seattle and San Diego ports.

Chertoff said one of his top priorities is getting a regulation to prescreen and enhance security of general aviation aircraft coming to the U.S. from overseas.

He also said he expects to approve new radiation detection technology this fall.

Some analysts believe terrorists may focus on the time between the election and the inauguration of the next President in January.

Source: The Associated Press

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