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Recognizable Format Should Make It Easier for Americans to Organize Week

Washington, D.C. ( — Abandoning the last-minute, panic-inducing warning system it has used until now, the FBI today said it will begin issuing regular, five-day terror forecasts. Today's outlook: light, scattered terrorism early, tapering off by noon. Tomorrow: Clear, and seasonably dangerous.

Mark Twain
   "Everyone talks about the terrorism, but nobody does anything about it."
                      — Mark Twain

According to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the forecasts will serve as a more consistent, and less frightening, reminder that Americans should stay vigilant, while the familiar, five-day format should make it much easier to plan ahead.

"We in law enforcement are duty-bound to report inherent danger, so we will continue to alert the public to serious threats," said Ashcroft. "But we also understand how frustrating it is to organize a family picnic or corporate event, only to have it washed out by the late-breaking specter of impending doom. So before you venture out, tune in to us."

Critics, however, immediately questioned the ability of the FBI's on-air AccuThreatTM forecasters to partake in awkward, meangingless banter with local TV news personnel, citing an exchange last night between sports anchor Marv Rupert and FBI anchor Robert Carpenter on KTLA-Los Angeles.

Marv: "...and speaking of zone defenses, Bob, I hear we might be in the 'danger zone' tomorrow. Ha ha."
Robert: "Your comments are suspicious. Do not leave the studio."

Across the country, meanwhile, most Americans welcomed the initiative, although some said it did not go far enough.

"I understand that terrorism is unpredictable, like the weather, but I need a long-range forecast, not a five-day," said bride-to-be Sarah Hanover of Keene, N.H. "I've already booked the Elks Club for June 15. Will that be a bad day? Should I switch to the 22nd? And should I wear white, or Kevlar?"

And now, your...

Your 5-Day Terror Forecast

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