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August 1, 2004 - Good afternoon. President Bush has told you, and I have told you, when we have specific credible information, we will share it.
This afternoon, we do have new and unusually specific information about where al Qaida would like to attack. As a result, today, the United States Government is raising the threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
Since September 11th, 2001, leaders of our commercial financial institutions have demonstrated exceptional leadership in improving its security. However, in light of new intelligence information, we have made the decision to raise the threat level for this sector, in these communities, to bring protective resources to their highest capacity. This will allow us to increase protection in and around those buildings that require it and also raise awareness for employees, residents, customers and visitors. We know from experience that increased physical protection and added vigilance from citizens can thwart a terrorist attack. And that is our goal.
This is the first time we have chosen to use the Homeland Security Advisory System in such a targeted way. Compared to previous threat reporting, these intelligence reports have provided a level of detail that is very specific. The quality of this intelligence, based on multiple reporting streams in multiple locations, is rarely seen and is alarming in both the amount and specificity of the information.
While we are providing you with this immediate information, we will continue to update you as the situation unfolds. As of now, this is what we know: reports indicate that al Qaida is targeting several specific buildings, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in D.C.; Prudential Financial in Northern New Jersey; and Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Let me assure you, actions to further strengthen security around these buildings are already underway. Additionally, we’re concerned about targets beyond these and are working to get more information."