FBI Downplays Threats Against Malls

Stories in both major Chicago daily papers said that the FBI has information that there may be plans to attack Chicago and Los Angeles area malls during the holiday shopping season.

Both stories downplayed the threat. In the Chicago Tribune:

Arthur Everett, assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Chicago office, said the threat contained no specific targets and amounted to "third-hand information."

Officials said that similar warnings have been issued in the past and that the FBI had been aware of the potential threat for several weeks.

"A tip of this kind is inherently difficult to completely discount or verify," Everett said at a news conference at Chicago police headquarters. "Yet, in an abundance of caution, the FBI has alerted fellow law enforcement entities to be extra vigilant. ... What we ask now is simply that the public remain vigilant, as it has in the past."

And in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The FBI downplayed a warning Thursday about possible holiday terror attacks on Chicago and Los Angeles shopping malls, but a source said police can't disregard such threats -- pointing to a similar plot last year in northern Illinois.

The FBI message to law-enforcement agencies was based on uncorroborated intelligence and did not identify specific malls.

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