The Department of Homeland Security says that the boogie man is coming to DC. According to an announcement by Tom Ridge this evening, al Qaeda is planning to attack one of several "financial services sector" targets in the Washington, New York or northern New Jersey areas and so he bumped up the color-coded terror threat chart to orange for those areas. Of course he didn’t say when the attack was supposed to happen but at least Tom is being more specific than in his past popups.

The list of potential targets would make sense to a terrorist, I guess. The Stock Exchange is a big symbol of the American economy (even if it is something of an anachronism) and Citicorp has a major presence all over the world. What doesn’t seem quite as logical, however, is threatening the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. I know both are hated in some countries but, although headquartered in DC, neither is a US institution and bombing them wouldn’t directly affect our national economy. On top of that, most of the people who work in their DC buildings come from all over the world and are not American citizens.

I’m trying hard not to be cynical here. However, considering the track record of US intelligence over the past couple of years, it’s difficult to accept this warning without an assortment of questions.

Update: I didn’t read Ridge’s whole announcement but Atrios did and found that Tom slipped in a little advertising for his boss. But wait! W would never play politics with terror!!