November 20th, 2007
11:05 AM ET
13 years ago

White House adviser warns terrorists could attack around '08 elections

Fran Townsend spoke with John Roberts Tuesday on CNN's American Morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend warned Tuesday that terrorists could launch an attack against the U.S. in 2008, and noted that the Bush administration is already putting in place a plan to ensure there is a smooth transfer of power following the elections.

Townsend told CNN’s John Roberts that there is no “specific threat” the U.S. has picked up, but noted there were attacks in Spain and England around elections in those countries.

“We know that Al Qaeda views these periods as being a particularly vulnerable period,” she said on CNN’s ‘American Morning.’ “We don't have any specific information, but given our experience and what we know, I believe we've got a real obligation to prepare for that transition between the election and the inauguration in a special way.”

Townsend offered this warning as she prepares to leave her job counseling President Bush on homeland security matters.

Related video: Watch Townsend in The Situation Room Monday

- CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: American Morning
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Dan S,

    Here we go again, get used to constant phony terror alerts like they did in 2004.

    November 20, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Garrett Indianapolis, IN

    Tell you what, if everyone is too frightened to vote Ron Paul will definitely win. His people will barrel roll and crawl all the way to the polls if they have to. We feel that strongly about him.

    November 20, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    You people are naive–this same tactic was used in Spain a few years ago(remember the train bombings?). I know 99% of you only like to think of "happy" things, but I for one take some satisfaction in knowing there is a plan to deal with this frightening possibility.

    Oh, and for all you people who use the term "fearmongerer" so loosely? You're some of the same ones who call Bush "Hitler" "Stalin" "Mussolini" "the devil", then you imply that he is trying to defy the Constitution and remain in power. What purpose does the namecalling serve? Aren't you trying to convince others to fear the president? Therefore, you Bush-haters are the ones fearmongering (as well as inciting hatred). I know it's a profound thought, so I don't expect most of you liberals to get it!

    November 20, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Patriot1984

    Operation Northwoods anybody?? Good ol' state sponsored terrorism at its best. Don't you love fear mongering? I sure love it. Can't wait for the chip in my forearm. Oh wait thats just for the moment...We need a One World Order. Big Brother loves us all. *note my sarcasm*. Better yet a North American Union and Amero dollar. Coming to a town near you. I say to hell with that. Vote Ron Paul to end this fascist regime. PeacE to you all and all a good night.

    November 20, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Sue in Michigan

    Please, Jr. tell me you're about nine years old! You trust this man? The ecomony here in Michigan is going down the tubes because of past and current Republican tax cuts, among other things. We now have to raise taxes just to keep basic services and schools open. Yup, Bush has been super for Michigan all right.
    And safer..not a bit! In fact, I fear this White House will stage an attack right around October, so bush can suspend elections, declare martial law, and be the King he thinks he is.

    November 20, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Jim Garrison, Evergreen, Colorado

    These fools are something out of a horror book. Junior George always wanted to be King.

    November 20, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  7. Jose Card

    Being an independent, I don't invest my time in partisan bickering. I just wonder what people really want our government to do.

    Perhaps you can give Homeland Security our email addresses ONLY IF you want to be warned of any threat. It's your choice. Now can we move onto something constructive?

    November 21, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Jed in Texas

    Yes Jr. I would probably vote for him if I were in the top 1% income bracket and had a great bunker built in my back yard. lmao You must have made a bundle. well good for you. Spend it fast though, its not worth much, and wont be worth spit soon.

    November 21, 2007 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  9. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    To: JR, California

    Well JR you should be posting from Iraq then. If you agree so much. Suit up and go over there and if you to old to join the military then go as a civilian.

    But if you are not doin that, then you need to shut up. It's just that simple. Funny how ALL the neo-cons that supported this war, will not go to Iraq to stand up for American interest. Military or civilian.

    I know you won't have time to reply , as you shoulod have a plane to catch...To Iraq.

    November 21, 2007 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  10. Mrs. America

    The U.S. will probably also find Osama BL around the '08 elections, just before. I expect they could snatch him up right now, but the timing isn't correct, politically.

    November 21, 2007 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  11. alan St Louis MO

    Tell us who the terrorist are??

    The REPUBLICAN using FEAR to get reelected.

    Terrorist uses fear to impose there ideas. That is the definition of terrorism. Republicans using fear to pass there ideas. Reelect me or terrorist will get you.

    So who are the real terrorist??? WhiteHouse

    If terrorist hit around election time It be Bush and republican that failed to stop em. Probably so they can get reelected.

    November 21, 2007 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  12. Joe, Bellefonte PA

    The monsters we fear do not live in Baghdad. The monsters live in Washington D.C.

    November 21, 2007 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  13. Danny Casolaro Martinsburg, WV

    Wow, Brad from Texas, that thought sure was "profound". About as "profound" as your great state of Texas executing the retarded on a regular basis. (How did you escape those pogroms, by the way?)
    Since your understanding of geopolitics and imperialist hegemony obviously comes from reading the can of Cheez Whiz that you invert above your mouth, allow me to utter one word for you to ponder: "Reichstag".

    Now run along to a dictionary and do your best.

    November 21, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Wallace, Chicago IL

    People be concerned about this comment.
    If a terrorist attack were to come, Bush could possibly pull the "No elections–I'll remain President Card".

    This would be dangerous for America and the world. Talk about the end of it.

    Those who know, understand exactly what I'm talking about.


    November 21, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Gary, Boston MA

    When was the last time the 'national threat level' changed? Correct, if you said before the 'last elections'. Fear mongering. Wake up America.

    November 21, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Jr., California

    You're either with Bush or against him. If you don't like it, then find another country to live in. He is our President, we voted for him twice, and God bless America!

    November 21, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Jr., California

    Maybe YOU voted for that numbskull twice. Many of us recognized his gross incompetence after the first term and only voted for him once. Then there are those of us who never voted for him at all. Clearly the majority of Americans are now against him. And then there are those like myself who actually despise everything he is and everything he stands for. Perhaps it is you who should find another country to live in. I'd suggest sneaking into Mexico but they enforce their immigration laws there. And yes, God bless America...but not George Bush.

    November 21, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. LA, NN, VA

    A lot of responders seem to have their heads in the sand...poetic justice would be for an attack (I pray it doesn't happen) hits the Democrat National Convention. Then, would you boneheads believe the threat is real? For some of you zealots, you'd probably think, no, you would be CERTAIN our Govt did it.

    November 22, 2007 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  19. Anonymous


    November 22, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. ADAM J TN


    November 22, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. sara, sylva, north carolina

    There is no commodity identified as a terrorist in this world, these are just "FALSE EXCUSES" to overpower oil wells or establish military bases anywhere, outside the jurisdiction.

    December 19, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
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