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Homeland Security

American Forces Press Service

London Bombings Spark U.S. Concern For Mass-Transit Systems

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2005 The U.S. Homeland Security Department today raised the terrorism alert level for mass-transit systems to code "orange" in response to President Bush's call for increased vigilance against terrorism in the wake of today's bombings in London.

Announcing the change from code "yellow" to "orange" during a news conference here, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told reporters there is no credible intelligence indicating imminent terrorist attacks on American subways, trains, buses, or other types of mass transit.

However, "in light of today's attacks in London, the United States government is raising the threat level," Chertoff said, noting he'd previously spoken with Bush, now in Scotland attending a conference of leaders from major industrialized nations. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who also was at the meeting, has returned to London.

The new terrorism alert level "is targeted only to the mass-transit portion of the transportation sector," Chertoff said. Code orange is the second-highest terror alert level, with "red" being the highest.

This morning, terrorists apparently set off bombs in three London subway cars and one double-decker bus, killing at least 33 people and injuring hundreds more.

Security measures for mass-transit systems have been ramped up across the country, Chertoff said.

"We have asked state and local leaders and transportation officials to increase their protective measures," including the deployment of additional police, bomb-detection canine teams, and increased use of video surveillance, perimeter barriers, and inspections, Chertoff said.

"We ask the public to remain alert and to report any suspicious activity, particularly in and around transportation systems," he added.

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