US Urged to Tighten Anti-Terrorism Measures

By Bruce Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

( - A congressional advisory panel is recommending that the United States take more precautions concerning terrorism against Americans, including increased surveillance of foreign students and blacklisting more countries that do not cooperate fully on anti-terrorism issues.

"The threat is changing and it's becoming more deadly," National Commission on Terrorism Chairman L. Paul Bremmer III told the Washington Post.

The panel of private experts and former government officials was created by Congress two years ago after the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The commission's full report is due to be released on Monday.

The commission recommended that a pilot program for tracking foreign students should be expanded, and said that the FBI and CIA should have more freedom to open investigations of suspected terrorists.

Another suggestion by the panel is to designate Greece and Pakistan as nations "not fully cooperating" with U.S anti-terrorism efforts. Such a designation would prevent those countries from purchasing U.S military equipment. Also, the new rating would require Greek and Pakistani citizens to obtain visas before visiting the U.S.

The report said that Greece has been "disturbingly passive" in its counter terrorism efforts, and Pakistan has reportedly been a safe haven for "several groups engaging in terrorism."

Another recommendation is that the U.S. military lead the response to a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, instead of the FBI or Federal Emergency Management Agency.