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US raises threat level to orange

Washington, Feb. 7 (Reuters): US attorney general John Ashcroft today formally raised the nationwide threat level to the second-highest level of security alert, saying Americans at home and abroad were at high risk of terrorist attack.

Ashcroft said the decision to increase the threat assessment level to orange came after an increased number of intelligence reports warning of the possibility of terrorist attacks.

He said the assessments showed an increased likelihood of an attack by al Qaida on US targets in mid-February, including apartment buildings. The last increase in the colour-coded threat level, to orange from yellow, was on September 10, 2002, before the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

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