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Financial Employees Return To Work Despite Terror Alert - 2004-08-03


Financial industry employees in New York, Washington, and New Jersey returned to work as usual Monday, a day after the U.S. government warned that al-Qaida could be planning an attack on key financial targets.

Security has been tightened around the potential targets mentioned in the alert-- the New York Stock Exchange, New York's Citigroup Center; the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, and the Prudential Building in Newark, New Jersey.

In New York, authorities ramped up road restrictions, while large concrete barriers were placed in front of the Prudential building in Newark. In Washington, heavily armed police were deployed around the IMF and World Bank.

Speaking on NBC television late Monday, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice dismissed allegations the alert was politically motivated, saying its timing has "nothing to do with the upcoming election."

On Sunday, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge raised the national terror alert level in all three areas from elevated to high.

A senior U.S. intelligence official says the move was based on intelligence that found that al-Qaida had gathered information on the buildings that was "chilling" in its scope and detail.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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