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Thursday, November 11, 2004

FBI: "We Issued No Lockdown Election Night in Warren County"

The rationale for the bizarre “lockdown” of the vote-counting venue in Warren County on election night suddenly broke down when it was contradicted by spokespersons from the FBI and Ohio’s primary homeland security official.

County Emergency Services Director Frank Young said last week that in a face-to-face meeting with an FBI agent, he was warned that Warren County, outside Cincinnati, faced a “terrorist threat.” County Commissioners President Pat South amplified, insisting to us at Countdown that her jurisdiction had received a series of memos from Homeland Security about the threat.

“These memos were sent out statewide, not just to Warren County, and they included a lot of planning tools and resources to use for election day security.

“In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services,” Ms. South continued, “we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10.”

But the Bureau says it issued no such warning.

“The FBI did not notify anyone in Warren County of any specific terrorist threat to Warren County before Election Day,” FBI spokesman Michael Brooks told Enquirer reporters Erica Solvig and Dan Horn.

Through a spokeswoman, Ohio Public Safety Director Ken Morckel told the newspaper that his office knew of no heightened terror warning for election night for Warren County or any other community in Greater Cincinnati.

Despite the contradiction from both security services, Ms. South again amplified, telling the Enquirer “It wasn’t international terrorism that we were in fear of; it was more domestic terrorism.”

So the media was kept two floors away from the vote counting at the Warren County Administration on election night on the basis of a “10” FBI terror threat that the FBI says was never issued.

--MSNBC, Nov 11

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