National alert extended through New Year
Terror -- from the skies, the mail and "non-specific" origins -- remains the focus on the home front as the Ground Zero death toll drops, federal officials extend the security threat deadline and health officials release new information about anthrax contamination.
A national warning and corporate security advisory about possible terrorist attacks have been extended through January 2, CNN has learned.
A spokesman for Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said a national warning issued December 3 is continuing because the threat -- regarded as "credible but non-specific" -- still exists. (Full story)
A postal facility in the nation's capital that handled mail laced with anthrax was "terribly contaminated" with the deadly bacteria, even worse than authorities first believed, federal health officials said Thursday.
The extent of the contamination at the Brentwood postal facility was determined by additional tests at the now-closed site after four workers there developed inhalation anthrax. Two of them died.
The military announced Thursday that their decades-old drive to get holiday letters to the men and women of the armed services will continue -- assuredly anthrax free -- on OperationDearAbby.net.
The number of dead in the September 11 World Trade Center attacks fell to 2,954, officials said Thursday.
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What is the government doing to fortify homeland defense? Click here for more
What are tips to know in the wake of the attacks? Click here for more
George W. Bush: U.S. president Click here for more.
Laura Bush: First lady of the United States, she has become more visible since the terrorist attacks, making public appearances urging parents and teachers to help reassure children that everything is being done to try to keep them safe. Click here for more
Tom Ridge: Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position Click here for more
Richard Clarke: Head of efforts to safeguard information systems for the Office of Homeland Security Click here for more
Wayne Downing: Retired Army general tapped as deputy national security adviser Click here for more
Joe Allbaugh:The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Click here for more
Dr. David Satcher: Surgeon General of the United States
Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click here for more
Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more
Michael Bloomberg: Mayor-elect of New York
Anthony A. Williams: Mayor of Washington
Dr. Ivan Walks: Director of the Department of Health for the District of Columbia
Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary
Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary
Jane Garvey: FAA administrator
The latest figures provided by federal and local officials give the following numbers of people dead or missing from the September 11 attacks:
WORLD TRADE CENTER: According to New York City officials, the death toll is 2,954 -- 2,391 people missing and presumed dead, including the 157 on the two hijacked planes -- and 563 bodies have been identified. The toll has been steadily shrinking for a variety of reasons, including duplicate reports and confusion in the hours and days immediately following the attack.
PENTAGON: 64 dead on hijacked plane; another 125 missing and presumed dead
PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane
The attacks of September 11 have sparked new debate about balancing the protection of U.S. citizens with the protection of the civil rights of those suspected of terrorism.
While the United States is proud of the freedoms and the legal rights guaranteed by the Constitution, authorities and many citizens have argued those people who seek to destroy America do not deserve such protections while they represent an ongoing threat to the country.
While those arguments continue, so do the threats against U.S. interests. Security remains high at airports, certain industries and many government facilities.
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