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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Terror Alert

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The U.S. Embassy said Tuesday it has been alerted to a possible "terrorist attack" against this month's world cross-country championships in Kenya.

The embassy released a statement saying the threat was coming from "alleged extremist elements" and that the races "may be the target of an unspecified terrorist attack." Last month, the U.S. Embassy issued another strong warning to Americans considering a visit to Kenya, saying violent crime was increasing and that Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to prevent it.

As I read further, it appears more like a 1960's-style public demonstration/disruption announced by Kenya's minority Muslim community, rather than a warning of an Al Qaeda-type violent and deadly attack. Still, the horn of Africa is not a good place for Americans these days. I wonder if that has anything to do with elite US runners avoiding this meet like the plague?

Over at the T&FN message boards, I like Trackstar's response:
Hey, I'm just flattered that cross country is now deemed important enough for terrorists to care!

(I can just hear the planning conversation: Terrorist #1: "Hey, let's attack the World Cross Country Championships!" Terrorist #2: "Uh ... the what?")
Which is more or less my reaction when I first heard it. That, and wondering if the White House was desperate to raise W's approval ratings among distance runners...

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