Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge said there are no plans at the
moment to raise the terror alert level in the wake of the terrorist
suicide bombing in Indonesia. But U.S. officials are taking a closer
look at cameras, computers and other electronic devices that might
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge said for now the national terror alert level will remain
at elevated. "We know, as this Jakarta bombing reminds us, that
we are still prosecuting the war against terrorists worldwide
and we know the same terrorists could conceivably looked, have
looked, at bringing their death and destruction to this country.
But there are no present plans to raise the threat level," he
On a different security matter, Secretary Ridge also confirmed
that his department has sent a warning to U.S. airports to closely
check cameras, computers and other electronic devices that could
be used to hide explosives.
Mr. Ridge said U.S. officials have obtained what he called
specific and actionable intelligence that al-Qaida operatives
have been trying to find ways to disguise explosives inside common
"From time to time, we get specific information. And we found
and discovered that there have been efforts to use electronic
devices to conceal explosive devices. And so we give specific
information to our professionals at the airports and ask them
to improve and enhance their scrutiny of these devices, simple
as that," Mr. Ridge said.
Last week, homeland security officials warned airlines and
law enforcement agencies that al-Qaida may attempt more suicide
hijackings in the coming months.
On Sunday, Attorney General John Ashcroft said there continues
to be a very real potential for another attack from al-Qaida.
But he also said the Bush administration is taking steps to minimize
the potential of more attacks.