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by CSO Contributor

Financial Institutions on High Terror Alert; Bush Backs Intelligence Post; Defense Dept. Looks to AI in Terror Fight; Countdown to Athens: Officials Say Games Will Be Safe

Aug 02, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Financial Institutions on High Terror Alert

In spite of a warning by the Department of Homeland Defense, officials in Washington, New York and New Jersey have asked people to stick to their normal work routines. According to a report in The New York Times, Sunday the Bush administration received information that Al Quaeda planned to attack prominent financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange, the Citigroup buildings in Manhattan, Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington. At a news conference, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said “If every time they made a threat we stopped doing what we’re doing, they’d win, and so we feel it’s almost a moral imperative for everybody to go about their jobs.”

For more details, read The New York Times.

Bush Backs Intelligence Post

President Bush is expected to announce today that he is backing the 9/11 commission’s recommendation to create a national intelligence director; however, Bush does not favor moving this new position under the White House. According to a report by the Associated Press, Bush will also support a National Counterterrorism Center, as recommended by the 9/11 commission. This agency would be staffed from personnel from all the spy agencies and operate as a planning and intelligence center. Again, Bush wants this agency to operate from outside the White House.

For more details, read the Associated Press story in The New York Times.

Defense Dept. Looks to AI in Terror Fight

The Defense Department is looking for new tools to fight terrorism, and artificial intelligence is high on its wish list. According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News, several groups of university researchers presented papers on using artificial intelligence in counterterrorism at a conference in San Jose. Artificial intelligence may help investigators sift through data much faster, allowing them to spend more time investigating actual incidents rather than pore over data. Although research funding for artificial intelligence projects has been going up over the last two or three years, according to the article, these are still early days for the technology.

For the full story, see the San Jose Mercury News.

Countdown to Athens: Officials Say Games Will Be Safe

Greek officials say that the Olypic Games, which will be held in Athens in 11 days, will be safe from terrorism. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, about 70,000 police and soldiers have been assigned to patrol Olympic venues and neighboring cities. Greek officials said the nation will spend $1.5 billion on security, a five-fold increase over security costs for the 2000 Games in Sydney. In addition to mobilizing security personnel, Greek security includes hundreds of security cameras and Patriot missle sites. In addition, NATO will provide air and sea patrols.

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.