September 21, 2001 08:24 AM

Attorney General John Ashcroft has warned Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino that terrorists could attempt to strike Boston in the near future, though he stressed that no specific threats had been made, the Associated Press reports. Menino refused to specify what he and Ashcroft discussed, and he urged residents to go about their business as usual. The FBI has investigated and discredited the threats, but would not comment on why Ashcroft warned local officials. “The information upon which these reports are based have been analyzed and evaluated, and the threats do not appear to be credible,” said Spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz. Gov. Jane Swift also declined to detail her discussion with Ashcroft. Local law enforcement, however, said they were ready for a possible attack. “This department is prepared to respond . . . to do whatever we have to do to protect his city,” said Police Chief Paul Evans. And State Attorney General Thomas Reilly tried to rally citizens to stand up to fear. “This is the time to stand up to fear,” he said. “Now is the time to visit the city and go wherever you want to go.” In evidence found during investigations into the hijackers, Sept. 22 emerged as an important date, indicating that a second wave of violence was planned for that day. And on Thursday, the FBI issued new warnings to local law enforcement to be on guard for attacks. But the authorities said the warning was not based on any evidence of a direct threat but rather on raw information.

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