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[ISN] U.S. Raises Terror Alert Level
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,
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
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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