Israel terror threat Web site called unreliable

The reported threat of a dirty bomb attack in New York City that led to heightened security this weekend came from a Jerusalem-based Web site that claims more than a million daily readers, but is criticized by intelligence experts as unreliable.

Israel terror threat Web site called unreliable

The reported threat of a dirty bomb attack in New York City that led to heightened security this weekend came from a Jerusalem-based Web site that claims more than a million daily readers, but is criticized by intelligence experts as unreliable.

Giora Shamis and his wife, Diane Shalem, launched DEBKAfile (Debka.com) in 2000 to focus on security, terrorist activities and military affairs in the Middle East. Shamis claims he and his wife predicted the al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center.

Shamis says Debka has a daily readership of 1.3 million. But its reports, published in English and Hebrew, rely on anonymous sourcing and often prove untrue.

Last week, the site reported intercepting al-Qaida messages discussing possible radioactive attacks against American cities, identifying New York, Los Angeles and Miami as potential targets.

"We have about four or five people that are sitting around the clock, 24-hours-a-day, tracking the different al-Qaida publications," Shamis said. "For us, this kind of story is routine."

But the reaction was not.

On Friday, the New York Police Department increased its radiological monitoring and established checkpoints to examine vehicles at various locations around Manhattan. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said the measures were in response to the Debka report. By Saturday, the department had eased its alert.

"I don't take Debka seriously as a reliable source ... but there are people who take it seriously and that's what makes it dangerous," said Boaz Ganor, an Israeli anti-terror expert.

AP

Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2007, 11:19
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