[ISN] U.S. Raises Terror Alert Level

From: William Knowles (wkat_private)
Date: Tue Sep 10 2002 - 10:58:41 PDT

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    By John Solomon
    Associated Press Writer
    Tuesday, September 10, 2002; 1:45 PM 
    WASHINGTON - The Bush administration raised the nation's terror alert 
    warning to its second highest level Tuesday - code orange - signaling 
    a "high risk" of attack ahead of the Sept. 11 anniversary.
    It was the first time since the terrorist attacks that the level was 
    set so high. The elevation was announced by Attorney General John 
    Ashcroft, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert 
    Ashcroft cited "specific intelligence on specific attacks on U.S. 
    interests overseas." He said that President Bush had approved the 
    At the same time, the State Department announced that the government 
    was temporarily closing for public business about two dozen U.S. 
    diplomatic posts worldwide. Officials cited specific threats against 
    U.S. embassies in southeast Asia, including embassies in Indonesia and 
    Ashcroft said the government was not urging Americans to change their 
    travel plans or that there be a cancellation of events. Similarly, he 
    said there was no call for government workers to stay home.
    Ashcroft said the United States had gathered intelligence suggesting 
    that such attacks are intended to coincide with the Sept. 11 
    anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
    "Symbols of American power and authority," such as embassies, military 
    facilities and national monuments are possible targets, Ashcroft.
    He said terrorists might "lash out in even small strikes," including 
    car bombings and other suicide attacks.
    Security was also being increased at military bases worldwide, 
    Ashcroft said.
    The level, which reflects a "high risk of terrorist attacks," is one 
    step below the top "red," or "severe risk." The level had been at 
    "yellow," in the middle of the five-color scale.
    Code orange calls for government officials to take extra precaution at 
    public events and to coordinate their efforts with the military. 
    Access to various government installations is restricted to only 
    "essential personnel."
    Officials said there was no specific threat against targets in the 
    United States, but the government opted to raise the alert level 
    because of an increase in communications - what the intelligence 
    community calls "chatter" - among suspected terrorists. 
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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