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Homeland Security Warns of Potential Tripod Attacks
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Homeland Security has warned that in addition to lasers and Maglite flashlights, terrorist chatter suggests that camera tripods -- perhaps launched from a catapult or air cannon -- may be used in attacks on airliners during take-off or landing. "The intelligence crossing my desk tells me we're looking at the next IED," said CIA Director Porter Goss, referring to the improvised explosive devices often employed by Iraqi insurgents, "When Secretary Ridge recognized the danger, he authorized an alert to all airlines, police, and major private security firms." The nation's Threat Advisory Level remains unchanged at orange or "elevated".

"There's been a lot of chatter involving the word 'tripod'. Big deal."
-- freelance security expert Bob Peters
"After Berlusconi was slightly hurt last Friday by a tourist throwing a camera tripod at him, there's been a lot of chatter involving the word 'tripod'. Big deal," said freelance security expert Bob Peters, "I'm sure following the Super Bowl and the infamous 'wardrobe malfunction', there were some interesting keywords popping up, too. But that hardly suggests an attack."

"I think after the Tsunamis and the public's outrage that a warning might have been possible but none was given, everyone wants to make sure all the data's out there," explained White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, responding to criticism that the DHS was acting rashly, "Research shows that a cheap, easily obtainable tripod, when launched so as to intercept a jet, can be deadly. The threat exists, the Department of Homeland Security has followed its mandate in warning us about it."

Tripod sales do not suggest stockpiling, and Nikon stock remained unchanged after the alert was made public.
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