From AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
TULSA, Okla. – The police chief here backed away Thursday from comments about terrorists living in Tulsa and Wichita, Kan., saying he has no evidence supporting the existence of al-Qaida “cells” in either city.
Tulsa police chief Dave Been caused a stir Wednesday with comments to the local Rotary Club that terrorists with ties to al-Qaida are in Tulsa and Wichita. Citing security concerns, he did not elaborate.
Been explained Thursday that he meant that financial and philosophical supporters of terror are so prevalent nationally that they are probably in heartland cities like Tulsa and Wichita, which he said he included as a “generic example” of another heartland city.
In a phone interview, Been said he was trying to stress that Tulsa and Wichita must remain vigilant against terror even though the cities are not population centers on either coast.
“I mentioned the word “cell” for Godsakes,” Been said Thursday. “I think that keyed it. I have absolutely not seen any information or seen any evidence of that in Tulsa, Oklahoma.”
“It’s something that’s been kind of hammered into us at the national level, using that terminology for those people who are gathering together to do harm,” he said. “I think that was at the top of my mind as I spoke.”
He called Wichita police chief Norman Williams Thursday to apologize.
“He was very gracious, and said, “I appreciate the call and don’t you worry about it a bit,” Been said of Williams.
Wichita police Lt. Joe Dessenberger, who coordinates emergency planning and security for the city, said Been did not need to apologize and said the city’s threat level remained at its routine “yellow.”