Even as police and government officials braced yesterday for the possibility of a terrorist strike that authorities said could rival the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a nation busy preparing for the holidays appeared to take in stride this year’s fourth escalation of the national threat index. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, speaking to reporters after a White House meeting on the new “code orange” alert, advised holiday shoppers and travelers to be vigilant but to stick to their plans. “If you’ve got holiday plans, go. Don’t change them,” Ridge said. “We cannot be burdened by that threat or fear. We need to be alert to it.” Full Story
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