U.S. lowers Al Qaida threat level

Friday, April 18, 2003

The United States has lowered the threat level of an Al Qaida attack.

The Homeland Security Department has lowered the threat advisory level on terrorist attacks in the United States from orange, to yellow. Orange signifies a high level of threat while yellow is an elevated threat.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the threat level was lowered after a review of intelligence and an assessment of threats by the intelligence community. Ridge said the threat of an insurgency attack continues.

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"While we continue to be at risk to the threat of terrorism at an elevated level, extensive protective measures remain in place throughout our nation," Ridge said. "We must be vigilant and alert to the possibility that Al Qaida and those sympathetic to their cause, as well as former Iraqi-regime state agents and affiliated organizations, may attempt to conduct attacks against the U.S. or our interests abroad."

U.S. officials said the reduction in the threat level reflects the elimination of terrorist groups based in Iraq. They said this includes Al Qaida fighters and training facilities in northern Iraq as well as the Salman Pak training base near Baghdad.

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