The Belleville News Democrat: Views on alleged plot against Sears Tower

“I think there has been some reluctance to step up and say that these individuals are indeed non-representative Muslims because certain commentators may see that as whitewashing or watering down our fight against terrorism.” – Ahmed Rehab, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Chicago chapter.

“Attacks on mosques often follow such news. Therefore Muslim institutions and businesses need to be extra cautious and to remain in contact with law enforcement agencies regarding security concerns.” – A. Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

“We’re not going to play our hand. But we have probably the highest level of security in the financial districts in the downtown area. With the Taste of Chicago coming up we will have extra security there. We’ve had it there every year since 9/11. We believe that the most important thing is having intelligence and having visible security.” – Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline.

“Sears Tower security officers are among the most highly trained and skilled officers in any commercial office building. They regularly receive training from the City of Chicago; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Secret Service and, of course, the FBI.” – Barbara Carley, managing director of the Sears Tower.

“This morning at the Sears Tower it is business as usual. Our tenants are in their offices performing as they usually do. Our skydeck is open for business and attendance is good.” – John Huston, Sears Tower executive vice president.

“Let me say my congratulations to the intelligence agencies, the FBI and all the agencies of our government for uncovering this plot at an early stage – that’s exactly what we need to do. We don’t want to wait until it is too late.” – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

“Here in Illinois we have a robust homeland security team. The efforts of the terrorism initiatives in Illinois have resulted in, I think, a team that is prepared and ready to respond, God forbid those circumstances ever developed. We are fortunately not in one of those situations.” – Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“The people of Illinois should go about their business, go about their business and pursue their daily lives. But I think what we discovered as a result of what happened in Miami … is that in the wake of 9/11 in America we have to be more vigilant, constantly on guard and keep an eye on what others may be doing.” – Blagojevich.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press