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SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 69 
 

  Terror Alert Heightened

SPECIAL REPORT: Terror Alert Heightened to Orange

 "America is a country that will not be bent by terror. America is a country that will not be broken by fear," Ridge said.
 

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Terror Alert Heightened

Homeland Security Advisory System
  • The US government on Sunday (12/21/03) raised the national threat level to orange, the second-highest, saying attacks were possible during the holidays and that threat indicators are "perhaps greater now than at any point" since Sept. 11, 2001.
     

  • Learn more about the heightened terror alert

"Extensive and considerable protections have been or soon will be in place all across the country," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said at an arranged news conference at the Homeland Security headquarters.

Attention School Official ! 
What will your school do differently under this code? 

Learn what schools should do to remain safe.

"Your government will stand at the ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to stop terrorism during the holiday season and beyond."

Orange means a high risk of terrorist attack. Since May, the level had been at yellow, or an elevated risk, and in the middle of the five-color scale.

Ridge cited reports that Osama bin-Laden’s terrorist network is trying find holes in U.S. aviation security, and that "extremists abroad" are anticipating attacks that will rival or exceed the scope of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The government increased the threat level, last raised in May, after U.S. intelligence agencies "received a substantial increase in the volume of threat-related intelligence reports," Ridge said.

"These credible sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the homeland around the holiday season and beyond," he said. "These strategic indicators, including al-Qaida’s continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11."

A senior intelligence official said last week that analysts were particularly concerned about the threat of Sept. 11-style attacks, in which terrorists would use hijacked airliners as weapons.

Ridge said that "recent reporting reiterates that al-Qaida continues to consider using aircraft as a weapon. They are evaluating procedures both here and abroad to find gaps in our security posture that can be exploited."

As a result of the change in threat level, all federal departments and agencies were put in place action plans and stepping up security at airports, border crossing and ports, Ridge said.

He also sought to reassure Americans about the warning, and urged them to use common sense and report anything suspicious, such as packages, and to prepare or review personal emergency plans.
 

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  • Learn - Training to help prepare Schools for Alert System

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  • Learning what to look for - "Early Warning Signs"

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  • Learn about National Reports on Violence

  • Reported By:
    Mike Nelson

    Director of Program and Development
    Keys To Safer Schools.com

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