HSD lowers threat level

HSD lowers threat level

The Homeland Security Department this morning lowered the nation's threat advisory level to yellow, or elevated, from orange, or high, on the advice of the Homeland Security Council, secretary Tom Ridge said.

In accordance with the reduced terrorist threat, HSD said it would begin to reassess and potentially scale back its enhanced security measures taken under Operation Liberty Shield last month. 'We are beginning the process of assessing the application of those defense measures in a modified fashion as we maintain our vigilance,' said HSD spokeswoman Rachel Sunbarger. 'We are looking to start winding [Operation Liberty Shield] down.'

'While we continue to be at risk to the threat of terrorism at an elevated level, extensive protection 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.'

The department raised the threat level to orange on March 17. The move was accompanied by an increase in homeland protection activities by law enforcement agencies, the Coast Guard and HSD's Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, among others.

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