May 26, 2004
Certain Higher Terror Threat To U.S., Says Washington; Threat Level Raised From Yellow To "Yellower"
Today the Department of Homeland Security warned of a much higher risk of a terrorist attack over the coming months, which prompted them to raise the threat level from Yellow ("Elevated") to Yellow ("Still Elevated"). "The threat level remains fundamentally the same," said Tom Ridge, "Except that it is definitely, certainly much threatier."
In response, the FBI pledged to step up its random arrest program, used most recently to such great effect with Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield last week, who, although not a terrorist, "was unable to mount a terrorist attack during his two weeks in captivity, had he really been one."
Although unable to supply a date, time, place, method, situation, guess, hope, or random thought for the expected attack on the U.S. by al Qaeda, Ridge said there was "credible intelligence" corroborated by lots of "chatter" that, while not "actionable," provided a firm basis for scaring the bejesus out of an otherwise complacent U.S. populace.
"We don't want people to panic," said Ridge. "But it could be any place, at any time, and it could be either a nuclear explosion that flattens the coast or a biological attack that could make "The Day After Tomorrow" look like a high school picnic."
"Or not," he added.
Ridge cut his remarks short to make a trip to Capitol Hill to get the Department of Homeland Security renamed the "Department of Scaring The Pants Off People While Not Offering The Slightest Help Whatsoever."