Yesterday Tom Ridge announced that some financial institutions in New York City, Newark, NJ and Washington DC could be hit in the days ahead by al Qaeda. The country is still going to remain at Yellow Alert (elevated alert), but the financial institutions of Newark, and the whole city of DC will be raised to Orange Alert (high alert). New York, which has remained Orange (high alert) since Sept 11, 2001 will remian so. Ridge gave New York officials the option of being Red if they wanted to but they decided against it.
Ridge says the threat potential remains through the Nov. 2 elections.
The government has obtained a wealth of detail in the past 24 hours, according to a senior intelligence official who agreed to speak anonymously (source: AOL article dated Aug 1, 2004, entitled Governemnt Warns of Threats Against Financial buildings). The official said al Qaeda had information on security in and around these financial buildings; the flow of pedestrians; the best places of reconnaissance; the construction of the buildings; traffic patterns; locations of hospitals and police departments; days of the week where there is less security at these buildings; etc
Here are some examples according to the official that al Quaeda has figured out: in one particular place, how much pedestrian traffic there would be (There would be midweek pedestrian traffic of 14 people per minute on each side of the street for a total of 28 people.); they have also ascertained which explosives would not be hot enough to melt steel; and they have figured out which buildings probably can't be toppled because their construction is too sturdy.
Pretty extensive, huh?