No plan to up US threat level after bin Laden tape

The United States does not plan to raise the security threat level because of a new tape of Osama bin Laden on which he says al-Qaida is planning attacks, counterterror officials said Thursday. The White House firmly rejected bin Laden's suggestion of a negotiated truce. "We don't negotiate with terrorists," Vice President Dick Cheney said. "I think you have to destroy them." Counterterror officials said they have seen no specific or credible intelligence to indicate a coming al-Qaida attack on the United States. Nor have they noticed an uptick in terrorist communications "chatter," although that can increase or decrease dramatically immediately before an attack. The audiotape, released by the Qatari television network Al-Jazeera, brought new attention to the al-Qaida leader after a yearlong absence of public statements.