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U.S. Lowers Terror Threat Level as War Winds Down

As the war in Iraq winds down, the U.S. government on Wednesday lowered its terror threat level back to yellow or “elevated,” but still warned of possible attacks by al Qaeda and former Iraqi agents. The Department of Homeland Security said the color-coded threat level was reduced from the second-highest level of orange, meaning a high risk of attacks, which took effect on March 17, two days before the war began. U.S. officials said the threat level was lowered to the middle of the five-point system after a review of intelligence and an assessment of threats by the intelligence community. One factor was the winding down of the war in Iraq, they said. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the United States still faced a terror threat at an elevated level. Extensive security measures remain in place throughout the country, he said. “We must be vigilant and alert to the possibility that al Qaeda 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,” Ridge said. Full Story

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