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16 April 2003

Terrorist Threat Level in U.S. Lowered from "High" to "Elevated"

(White House Report, April 16: threat level, supplemental bill) (370)

The Department of Homeland Security has lowered the threat advisory
level on terrorist attacks in the United States from "high," or
orange, to "elevated," or yellow, Deputy Press Secretary Scott
McClellan told reporters.

The Department of Homeland Security released the following statement
by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge:

"Following a review of intelligence and an assessment of threats by
the intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security, in
consultation with the Homeland Security Council, has made the decision
to lower the threat advisory level to an elevated risk of terrorist
attack, or 'yellow level.'

"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. As Secretary (of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld has
noted, hostilities from Operation Iraqi Freedom still continue and
there is, 'a lot of work left to do.' 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."

BUSH SIGNS SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL

President Bush April 16 signed into law an emergency supplemental
appropriations bill passed by Congress to pay for the war in Iraq and
various other government programs.

The bill, H.R. 1559, provides supplemental FY 2003 appropriations for
military operations, relief, and reconstruction activities in Iraq;
ongoing operations in the global war on terrorism; enhancements to the
safety of U.S. diplomats and citizens abroad; support for U.S. allies
critical to succeeding in the war; and homeland security protection
and response measures.

Bush "thanked leaders of Congress for moving quickly to pass the
supplemental bill," McClellan told reporters.

"The president does remain concerned about the flexibility provided to
him in the supplemental." McClellan added, "It is less than ideal, so
we may well need continued cooperation from Congress to match these
resources to our evolving needs. And we are confident that we will
receive that cooperation."

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)