Byline: WILLIAM LOWTHER
WASHINGTON was blanketed in unprecedented security last night for today's inauguration of President George Bush.
He will be sworn in for a second term against the background of a poll showing that most people in the world believe his re-election has made it more dangerous.
There have been no specific t e r --ror threats against the ceremonies, but Secret Service chief Ralph Basham said: 'We don't want to leave anything to chance.' Antiaircraft missile batteries ringed the city and fighter planes were constantly on patrol.
Warships were on guard along the coast, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons sensors lined the parade route, armoured vehicles were parked in side streets and bomb- sniffing dogs guarded the front of all government buildings.
Snipers were on every rooftop from the White House to the Capitol and thousands of heavily-armed police were on patrol. Manhole covers have even been welded shut.
The preparations were finalised as a massive survey by the BBC's World Service, questioning 22,000 people in 21 different countries, found that 58 per cent believed Mr Bush had made the world a more dangerous place.
'Our research makes very clear that the re- election of President Bush has further isolated America from the world,' said Doug Miller, president of GlobeScan, which carried out the poll.
Steven Kull, director of International Policy Studies at the University of Maryland, said: 'It's quite a grim picture for the U.S.' In Britain, the poll found that Mr Bush's re-election had left 63 per cent of people opposed to sending more UK troops to Iraq. …