FBI expanding interviews to deter possible attacks

WASHINGTON – Fearing terrorist attacks this summer and fall, the FBI says it still plans to expand interviews in U.S. communities to find al-Qaida operatives before they strike.

An FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the interviews will be driven by information gathered by the 2004 Threat Task Force, composed of bureau agents and analysts, plus experts from the intelligence community and Department of Homeland Security.

The official said only a small number of interviews have taken place so far, but they will be conducted on a larger scale in coming weeks. The interviews were included in a series of measures that the Justice Department and FBI announced at a May 26 news conference.

The FBI official said the delay shows that agents are being meticulous in deciding who they want to interview.

Kerry may pick running mate today

Sen. John Edwards interrupted his Disney World vacation last week to meet in Washington with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, adding more intrigue to the vice presidential search, which Democrats expect to end today. The Massachusetts senator said Monday he had not settled on a running mate. Party leaders said they were told to expect a decision today.

Arizona: Fire threatens observatory

Firefighters widened a defensive ring around a mountaintop observatory Monday, trying to hold back two wildfires and protect a powerful telescope under construction. One blaze was less than a mile away. Ground crews around the $200 million-plus Mount Graham International Observatory were helped by an air tanker plane dropping retardant.

Michigan: Gay marriage opponents

Supporters of a ban on gay marriage submitted nearly 500,000 signatures Monday in an effort to get a proposed constitutional amendment, defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, on the November ballot. The group, Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, needed 317,757 valid signatures.

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