DOBBS: But, obviously, officials in this city and around the country are taking this very seriously, and, basically, what you're saying here is -- by inference at least on my part -- that they're very concerned about the possibility of an attack now?
ARENA: They are. They always are, whenever a bin Laden tape comes out, Lou. It's always viewed as a possible signal. They try to compare that to electronic intercepts to see if there are any key phrases or words that are used in that message that could be a signal.
DOBBS: Parallels between this videotape message, the first in which bin Laden speaks on a videotape in more than two years now, and other terrorist attacks combining that with so-called chatter and other signals that are our intelligence community looks for.
ARENA: Well, I'll tell you that right now, the stance of the intelligence community is one of a lot of concern, only because the intelligence continues to suggest that al Qaeda is planning what they call a spectacular attack on U.S. soil.
Now, even though there was a report that there was information, a stream of intelligence that was deemed to be not credible, one which said that there would be an attack to coincide with the U.S. elections -- that was deemed not credible -- other intelligence has suggested that there will be an attack, Lou.
DOBBS: Level of chatter at this point?
ARENA: Low. Lower than it's been. Now it does ebb and flow, but it's interesting to note that before the September 11 attacks, the chatter level fell. No one is saying that that means anything. It is what it is, but the chatter level has fallen over recent weeks.
DOBBS: Kelli Arena, our justice correspondent.
MSNBC just now:
Francona: The people I've talked to are telling me that they've seen increased chatter over the last several weeks and they attribute this as we lead up to the election process, but once again no specific threats and nothing that they can pin any reason to raise the level of alert.
Willow Bay: Now when you say chatter, is it chatter similar to the level around 9/11?
Francona: It's not that high but it's that type of traffic. They're seeing more internet traffic. More telephone calls.
God I hate our media.