Hatching a Plot

Alabama's Homeland Security Department is warning farmers to be on guard should Al Qaeda mount a bioterror attack on the state's big chicken farms, which produce some $5 billion in revenue a year. In a directive sent out August 4, the department points out that chickens can carry diseases such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease. "This war on terror that we're fighting in this country is not necessarily a federal government problem, a state government problem, or even a local government problem," said Jim Walker, Homeland Security director for Alabama. "It permeates all the way down to the individual citizen."

Adds Walker: "We've also sent a blast message out to the law enforcement community at large in Alabama to help us lean forward in the foxhole and prepare for any eventual threat that should come our way."

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