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Nov 09,2007
Officials: Mall threats 'uncorroborated'
by UPI

CHICAGO -- U.S. and local law enforcement agencies are downplaying "uncorroborated" terrorist threats to malls in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Arthur Everett, assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Chicago office, said reported threats to shopping centers in Chicago during the upcoming holiday season didn't contain any specific targets and amounted to "third-hand information," the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Chicago Police Interim Superintendent Dana Starks said the department was informed of the threats in secret two weeks ago but the information wasn't publicly released because it was "uncorroborated," the newspaper report said.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko also spoke of the dubious nature of the threats to Chicago and Los Angeles.

"There is no information to state this is a credible threat," he told the Tribune. He said the information was only distributed to make state and local law enforcement agencies aware of the risk.

"Out of an abundance of caution, and for any number of other reasons, raw intelligence is regularly shared within the intelligence and law enforcement communities -- even when the value of the information is unknown," Kolko said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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