America raises terror threat assessment

The recent rise of the national terrorism threat level from yellow (elevated) to orange (high) has caused mixed emotions among students and leaves many to question what could happen as a result.

The Bush administration raised the level to high Friday as a result of reports that suggest that al Qaeda is planning to attack apartment buildings, hotels and other “soft target” areas.

Transportation and energy sectors are target spots for a terrorist attack as well.

“It’s hard to believe, especially when it hits this close to home,” said Marcy Sumling, 18, a freshman chemistry/premed student from Detroit. “This is a good time to attack if we’re vulnerable.

“I’m scared, not just as a country, but as a person.”

According to officials, a possible terrorist attack can be contributed to many factors, especially an increase in so-called “chatter” levels.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said

Ashcroft said in a CNN interview that there is an increased likelihood that al Qaeda may attempt to attack Americans in the U.S. and or abroad.

Tim Moore, Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner said in a press release that there are no specific threats to Florida. However, the FDLE and Florida’s Seven Regional Domestic Security Task Force’s are taking the necessary precautions.

“The FDLE has provided the RDSTF’s with recommended actions, which may include increasing security at Florida’s critical infrastructures and reviewing continuity of operation plans,” Moore said in the release. “We have a protocol in place and I am confident we are doing all we can to protect our state.”

Marcus Scott, 19, a freshman Spanish student from Miami said he is not bothered by the rise in the terrorism level.

“If it (terrorist attack) is going to happen, then it is going to happen,” Scott said.

“No matter how hard you may try, you just can’t take precautions over something like a terrorist attack.”

DeAnna L. Carpenter can be reached at