An Italian newspaper reported on December 31st that a possible terrorist attack could hit New York City next month. According to a now-defunct web site that was blocked by the FBI, there is a possible threat to hit NYC with a nuclear device on the 2nd.

Now it is hard to determine if this is verifiable because the site no longer exists. And now that it is out in the open (although, oddly, no American media have picked up on this story) it is harder for this kind of attack to actually happen because more people are aware of the impending threat. The whole thing could have been a fake and overblown deliberately out of a new climate of fear.

In 2002, I read in a copy of the New York Times’ Magazine about how the real fear amongst members of the U.S. government and their federal departments – the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security – are more worried about the use of chemical, biological or nuclear warheads being used on American soil in a terrorist attack. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge was openly concerned about nuclear warheads going off in a major urban centre, which is completely understandable.

If that were to open, I can see three things happening to America (and subsequently, the rest of the world).

1) 9/11 would look like a warm-up act in comparison to a Weapon of Mass Destruction going off in, say, NYC. If that happened, millions would die. New York City would be completely destroyed, which would send America’s political and economic systems into complete chaos;

2) The President would probably be in a position to enforce even more Draconian security measures (hey, a WMD going off and killing millions is pretty much a promise that America as we know it ends) and, possibly, suspend the U.S. Constitution (including the Bill of Rights);

3) The President and Congress would have virtually unlimited mandates from the American public to wage total war against rogue nations potentially harbouring Al-Qaeda suspects.

This sounds alarmist, I know. But it’s hard to think of another potential outcome. Again, I’m not counting on the attack on the 2nd now, but you never know.

THE RETURN OF S.A.R.S? The Globe and Mail is reporting that a second case of SARS has been found in mainland China. Now that scientists have a better idea of how this disease works, they know that it is very likely the disease jumps from civet cats to humans. Hopefully this means that the disease will be contained much more effectively than it was last year. At the very least, Toronto is much more aware of the disease.

MY REPORTING OF BAD NEWS: Okay, I’m aware that this post today is negative. But I balance my negative stories with good ones usually, so I promise future postings will be more positive.

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