Top law enforcement officials in Cincinnati issued a warning yesterday urging vigilance against possible terrorism, but FBI and homeland security officials said there was no intelligence about a new threat, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis e-mailed a letter to thousands of schools, businesses, and shopping malls, warning them to be on guard. He said he sent the alert because of new information about a possible terror attack in the Midwest before the Nov. 2 election. FBI and homeland security officials said they were not consulted before Leis and Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher sent the message.
Federal authorities said concern about a possible strike before the election is based on the same intelligence that has been available for months. A federal official said was no specific threat against the Midwest or the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. Said Jim Turgal of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Cincinnati: “Is there any new, specific information out there? No, there is not.” But Leis said: “There is a strong indication that a terrorist attack will occur before the election. We are concerned about it happening in the Middle West.” Leis met yesterday with Hamilton County Administrator David Krings and warned him the sheriff’s office needs more money for overtime to pay for stepped-up patrols before and during the election. Law-enforcement officials in other counties said they have no plans to respond to the terrorist threat. “Unless we receive something more specific, we have no present plans to have a mass mailing regarding terrorism to our citizens,” Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg said.