Fewer credible threats prompt the change
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post article "Government Lowers Terror Alert Warning" by Sara Kehaulani and Fred Barbash.
After a review of current available intelligence, the Bush administration lowered the terror level from high to elevated. However, added security measures will still stay in effect at airports and some high-risk cities such as Washington, D.C., New York and Las Vegas.
The nation was placed under code orange by Secretary of Homeland Security on Dec. 21 after reports that terrorists were planning to attack airliners and/or large gatherings during the holiday season. According to Ridge, the threat conditions that the government has been following have diminished. Because of the heightened security, 16 international flights were cancelled and flights continue to be delayed for security purposes.
After the terror alert was raised, total security costs increased to $1 billion a week. The added security causes state and local police to increase hours and work overtime. Los Angeles Airport, for instance, had several flight that were cancelled, and security costs since Dec. 21 have cost more than $3.8 million.
During the code orange, the U. S. military ordered F-16 jets to follow certain flights entering the U.S. Officials also ordered foreign airlines to place armed sky marshalls on board of some incoming flights.
Several leaders in the House of Representatives do not agree with the current system of raising the threat levels because the alert system is too broad. As a result, the House Select Committee is now considering legislation that would design a system that would establish specific standards for raising or lowering alert levels.
Although the terror alert is lowered, aviation and government sources are still concerned about possible plane hijackings in February.
Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »