Officials mull alert change from significant to high risk

| Tuesday, October 15, 2002

After meetings Oct. 14 with officials of the Office of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the intelligence community, the Bush administration kept the nationwide alert level at yellow - meaning "significant risk" - but are giving "increased scrutiny" to raising the alert to orange - meaning a high risk, AP reported.

Among the reasons: An apparent suicide boat rips a hole in an oil tanker off Yemen; a U.S. Marine is gunned down in Kuwait; a bomb kills hundreds of nightclub patrons in Bali; and Osama bin Laden's top deputy speaks out for the first time in almost a year, prompting warnings to Americans around the world.

U.S. counterterrorism officials say it's too soon to tell whether these events, all believed connected to bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network in some fashion, are also linked to each other.