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Issue: "The GOP's Latino outreach," Sept. 28, 2002

5

still orange

70 | As the nation braced for the possibility of anniversary attacks on Sept. 11, the White House Office of Homeland Security changed its color-code of alert to orange, putting citizens on "high alert" for a possible attack at home or at embassies abroad. In a press conference with Attorney General John Ashcroft, homeland security czar Tom Ridge said that in the face of credible threats, "our response is to continue to be America, but to be alert, to be vigilant." Vigilance was high, even as Sept. 11 elapsed without attacks. Air marshals diverted an American Airlines flight from Houston to Dallas-Fort Worth when two passengers changed seats after takeoff. Officials also diverted a Northwest flight to Las Vegas and removed four passengers and their luggage. One of the reported reasons for the heightened alert was an intercepted phone call from Mukhtar al-Bakri, a U.S. citizen. He was arrested in Bahrain and returned to the Buffalo area to face terrorism charges with five of his neighbors.

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