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Albright Warns Of Terrorism

Security at U.S. embassies around the world has been beefed up considerably since last August's terrorist attacks on two embassies in east Africa, but the dangers posed by international terrorism remain high, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told senators Thursday.

"Certainly no single arrest or shutdown of a terrorist operation will be sufficient," Albright told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on terrorism.

She defended President Clinton's request in the budget he sent to Congress for $300 million for increasing embassy security next year.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the subcommittee chairman, said it falls about $700 million short of what he said an interagency study panel said was needed. Gregg said the president's anti-terrorism program appeared to be "put together on the back of an envelope."

"I think we are at the beginning stages. . .We're working very hard and I think we all need to work together on this," Albright said.

She said the administration was upgrading security in all 122 overseas diplomatic posts. "We have decided that there is no such thing as a no-threat embassy," she testified.

The near-simultaneous bombing attacks last Aug. 7 on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, killed 250 people and injured more than 5,500. Twelve Americans were killed, all in Nairobi.

Attorney General Janet Reno, testifying before the same panel, told the panel that "there is a threat and it's real" of a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction.

Such weapons "are there and are being considered for use," she said.

As to a possible new terrorist attack in this country, "We're not going to prevent them all," she said. "There is no way we can do that."

Meanwhile, FBI Director Louis Freeh told Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., the FBI had "a number of very good leads" on the perpetrators of an Oct. 12 fire at Vail, Colo., that destroyed four ski lifts, a restaurant, a picnic facility, and a utility building.

"It has been intensely pursued," Freeh said.

Campbell said he had been concerned over the lack of apparent progress in the investigation and was worried about "copycat" attacks on other Colorado ski resorts.

An underground group of environmental activists that calls itself the Earth Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for the fire and for one in December at U.S. Forest Industries headquarters in Medford, Ore.

Campbell said the fires caused $12.5 million in damage. He showed the committee large before-and-after photos of the burned lodge, which had been made of logs.

"I don't see what they gain by burning down a log building. They've got to cut down more logs to rebuild it," Campbell said.

Written By Tom Raum