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FBI says boston threat a false alarm

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FBI Says Boston 'Threat' a False Alarm
Jan 25, 5:30 PM (ET)

BOSTON (Reuters) - The FBI said on Tuesday there was "no credibility" to a reported threat against Boston last week that spurred a manhunt for 14 people and had police using radiation sensors in the city's subway system.

Nearly a week after the unconfirmed threat was first reported, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was withdrawing its request for information on the whereabouts of the individuals, most of them Chinese.

"It has been determined that the threat had no credibility," the FBI said in a statement on its Web site.

"While the threat information proceeded from criminal activity (an alien smuggling organization) there were in fact no terrorist plans or activity under way," it said.

The announcement came just days after the FBI conceded that one of the people it was seeking for questioning had already been in U.S. custody for more than two months.

It said Mei Xia Dong, identified last week as a male, was a woman who was arrested for an immigration violation on Nov. 11, 2004. She has been in custody ever since in the San Diego, California, area.

Media reports last Wednesday referred to a plot to explode a "dirty bomb," which disperses low-level radioactive material, in Boston.

The FBI never gave details of the plot, calling it an unconfirmed, potential threat against Boston. Officials said an anonymous tip to California law enforcement was at the root of the threat.

The tip prompted police in Boston to boost security and had officials posting leaflets in the city's subway system with photographs of four of the "persons of interest" identified by the FBI.

But by the end of the week, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he was growing less concerned about the situation, and officials speculated that the tip was a hoax.

13 chinese boston terrorist anonymous tipper not credible { January 23 2005 }
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