FBI Director Robert Mueller told officials in Seattle yesterday said that increased cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies “has made this particular area of the country far safer than it was before September the 11th,” says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Mueller said the FBI would join the regional Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LINX), a computer network with links to information about potential terrorists and other criminals from 15 area police and intelligence groups. A proposed FBI data-sharing plan discussed after the Sept.11 terror attacks would have had a wider range than LINX, including information from agencies in Eastern Washington. That program never got off the ground.
Mueller downplayed reports that Seattle has been a favorite potential target of terrorist planners. The Sept. 11 commission issued a report concluding that al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Shaikh Mohammed had originally planned the Sept. 11 attack sites to include “the tallest buildings in California and Washington state.” The last was an apparent reference to the 76-story Bank of America tower in downtown Seattle. The information came from the questioning of an individual who was very, very general, and did not speak of specific buildings,” Mueller said.