Magazine article American Libraries

FBI Almanac Alert Prompts Unintended Reactions

Magazine article American Libraries

FBI Almanac Alert Prompts Unintended Reactions

Article excerpt

In the December 24 edition of its weekly online Intelligence Bulletin containing information on terrorism that goes to 18,000 police organizations nationwide, the FBI warned law-enforcement officers to be on the lookout for suspicious persons carrying almanacs, which could be used "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning." The Associated Press reported December 29 that the bulletin urged police to watch during searches and traffic stops for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books have been annotated suspiciously.

FBI spokesman Ed Cogswell said in the December 30 Washington Post that the alert was not the result of a specific threat. But the paper noted that during a 2001 search of the Peoria, Illinois, apartment of alleged al-Qaida sleeper agent Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, investigators reported finding an almanac with pages on U.S. dams, rivers, railroads, and reservoirs bookmarked. Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, has been in a military prison since June 2003, when President Bush declared him an enemy combatant.

But the news provoked both concern and derision in the editorial press, which rushed to interview almanac editors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.