Monday, April 19

The Fear Season Opens

Tom Ridge kicks off the festivities.

U.S. Sees Terror Threats, Aims to Boost Security

The U.S. government believes it is vulnerable to a terror attack during this year's presidential election, party conventions and national holidays, and has launched a plan to beef up security, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said.

While there is no intelligence of specific threats, the number of high-profile political events this year are considered potential targets of a terrorist attack, and in a speech in Las Vegas on Monday Ridge vowed to increase vigilance and improve security.

"We soon enter a season that is rich with symbolic opportunities for the terrorists to try to shake our will," said Ridge, whose department is charged with trying to prevent another day like Sept. 11, 2001, when hijacked airline attacks left about 3,000 people dead.

Events viewed by the government as potential targets include national holidays like Memorial Day and Fourth of July, the G-8 summit in June, the Republican and Democratic party conventions this summer and the November presidential election.