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White House Announces Threat Level Increase

February 7, 2003

White House Announces Threat Level Increase
In a White House Briefing conducted by Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at 1 p.m. E.T. Feb. 7, the announcement was made that the U.S. government raised the national threat level from elevated (yellow) to high (orange). The new level of threat indicates a "high risk of terrorist attacks."

Attorney General John Ashcroft indicated increased threats to apartments, hotels and transportation sectors. The public health sector is also on high alert based on biological and chemical information received. Ashcroft noted the expected attack could come at the close of HAJJ, the Muslim Journey of Faith ending mid-February 2003.

As a result of the increased threat level, every federal resource available will be used and the FBI is working 24 hours per day. Several travel procedures may also be implemented, including the following:

  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are likely to increase the number of random individual screenings.
  • Airports may see an increased presence of air marshals.
  • Customs and immigration workers will question travelers more intently.
  • Vehicles will be closely scrutinized.
  • Cargo inspections will likely rise.
  • Travel documents will be carefully scrutinized.

    Later today, NTA will be e-mailing information to all members on national security and crisis planning. You will also be able to access this materials under "What’s New" by clicking on "Alert: National Security Update and Crisis Planning Info."

    NTA members may read the latest news about this situation and learn more about the levels of threat by visiting Scroll down to the related box and click on "Interactive: Terror Warning System."

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