|U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2003
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TOM RIDGE
The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the
Homeland Security Council, has lowered the national threat level
from Code Orange or high risk of terrorist attack to Code Yellow
or an elevated risk of terrorist attack.
This decision is based upon a number of factors including a review
of the intelligence and assessment of threats. The U.S. intelligence
community has also concluded that the number of indicators and
warnings that led to raising the level have decreased and the heightened
vulnerability associated with the Memorial Day holiday has passed.
The lowering of the threat level is not a signal to government,
law enforcement or citizens that the danger of a terrorist attack
has passed. The U.S. intelligence community remains concerned that
Al-Qaida is attempting to exploit our weaknesses and believes that
the United States and its interests are still at a significant
risk of terrorist attack.
Visible security does
serve as a deterrent and for this reason and for the safety and
security of our nation, we will continue
to have security measures in place at federal facilities and other
key areas of the country. I encourage the nation’s governors,
mayors and other local officials to remain vigilant during this
period of elevated level of threat.
America has significantly more security measures in place now
at Code Yellow compared to last year. More and more of our partners
in the federal, state and local governments, and the private sector
have adopted the homeland security advisory system and have identified
protective measures to strengthen security and reduce the nation's
vulnerability to terrorist attacks.
We wish to thank all federal, state and local government and public
safety officials, representatives of the private sector, and individual
citizens for your patience and resolve. Know that your efforts
are making a difference. Through this partnership, we send a signal
to those who would do us harm that America stands alert, united,