Ashcroft/Ridge announcement lowering terror alert status Bernard Hibbitts at 12:36 PM ET
[JURIST] Attorney General John Ashcroft and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge issued a joint statement Thursday announcing a reduction in the US terror alert level (officially, the Homeland Security Advisory System [official website]) from High/Orange to Elevated/Yellow: "The decision to raise the threat level on February 7 was based on specific intelligence, corroborated by multiple intelligence sources, received and analyzed by the full intelligence community at the time. Today's decision to lower the threat level was based on a careful review of how this specific intelligence has evolved and progressed over the past three weeks, as well as counter-terrorism actions we have taken to address specific aspects of the threat situation. Among the factors we considered was the passing of the time period in or around the end of the Hajj, a Muslim religious period ending mid-February 2003." Read the full joint statement from the Department of Justice.
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