Utah Responds to Raised Terror Alert

Utah Responds to Raised Terror Alert


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Richard Piatt reportingSen. John Warner/ (R) Select Intelligence Committee: "WE DO NOT KNOW WITH SPECIFICITY WHERE A STRIKE COULD OR COULD NOT COME"

But the U-S intelligence community is increasingly certain a terrorist strike will come. And today raised the terror threat level, to Orange.

Today's announcement marks the first time, the alert level has been raised from yellow to orange , based only on generalized threat information.

Al Qaeda operatives, captured after last week's deadly bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia have evidentally hinted of a plan to attack the United States. And, intelligence sources say electronic intercepts, or "chatter", are on the rise.

The threats are not specific, but in Utah the response is. But in a lot of different ways.

The heightened alert response is most visible at airports both big and small in Utah. The check-lane at Salt Lake International involves a random search of vehicles headed to the terminal. It's a diversion most people don't seem to mind, considering what prompted it.

TJ Fulton/Doesn't Mind Security Check: "I THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA. I WANT THE BEST PROTECTION FOR ME AND MY FAMILY... "

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration say travelers should only expect more diligent security, not severe delays. They admit, they're caught between acknowledging the threat world-wide, and keeping things calm while life goes on.

TSA's local Security director is Earl Morris.

Earl Morris/TSA Federal Security Director "WHEN WE GO TO AN ORANGE WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. THE INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION WE GET INDICATES THERE'S A TERRORIST THREAT OUT THERE AND IT'S NEVER VERY SPECIFIC TO A TARGET AND SALT LAKE CITY IS NOT A TARGET PER SE. "

Neither is the rest of the state. Yet in many places, security patrols are beefed up at power substations. The state's reservoirs are being watched like never before, and not just because they're low from the drought.

Water treatment plants are now nearly as secure as a bank, complete with cameras, alarms, full time security guards. Most are submitting a vulnerability assessment to the E-P-A, a way to patch up weak spots. If all this sounds expensive, you're right. Specific numbers aren't available either on a state, local or federal level. But statewide estimates run easily into the millions of dollars.

Governor Mike Leavitt: "IT COSTS MONEY TO PROVIDE EXTRA SECURITY. AND IT'S BECOME A PART OF DOING BUSINESS IN OUR WORLD."

A lot of the security procedures in Utah, at the airport and elsewhere, have their origins in the Olympics. It's one advantage Utah has in a world where terrorists are trying to put society as a whole at a disadvantage.

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