Source Pravda.Ru

FBI director says no signs that terrorists plan to take advantage of Katrina's devastation

U.S. intelligence agencies have not detected any signs that terrorists are planning attacks because of Hurricane Katrina despite weaknesses the storm exposed in disaster readiness, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.

"We have not seen any indication that terrorists see this as a unique opportunity or that this would in any way trigger an attack that perhaps was not in the staging process before," Mueller told reporters at a briefing at FBI headquarters.

While many federal resources have been diverted to the Gulf Coast, Mueller said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not let down its guard.

The FBI has sent 500 of its 12,000 agents to the New Orleans area to help local police and monitor billions of dollars in federal reconstruction contracts.

Even as the storm approached the Gulf Coast, Mueller told agents in the FBI's 56 field offices to keep their eyes on their primary terror-fighting mission and be aware that would-be attackers might consider the country vulnerable.

The storm heavily damaged two of the four floors of the building that houses the FBI's office in New Orleans, but no evidence in current investigations was lost, Mueller said.

The FBI also is alert to potential fraud related to the rebuilding effort. The bill to the government for Katrina so far is $62 billion and some estimates of the final cost top $200 billion, AP reports.