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Gov't skeptical of threat against NFL stadiums

WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2006) -- A web site is claiming that seven NFL football stadiums will be hit with radiological dirty bombs this weekend, but the government expressed doubts about the threat.

The warning, posted Oct. 12, was part of an ongoing Internet conversation titled "New Attack on America Be Afraid." It mentioned NFL stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland and Cleveland, where games are scheduled for this weekend.

The Homeland Security Department alerted authorities and stadium owners in those cities, as well as the NFL, of the web message but said the threat was being viewed "with strong skepticism." Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said there was no intelligence that indicated such an attack was imminent, and that the alert was "out of an abundance of caution."

"The department strongly encourages the public to continue to go about their plans, including attending events that involve large public gatherings such as football games," Knocke said.

The FBI also expressed doubt about the threat.

The nation's alert level remains at yellow, signaling an elevated risk of an attack. The threat level for airline flights is at orange, a higher level, where it has been since a foiled plot to bomb U.S.-bound commercial jets was revealed on Aug. 10.

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