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Americans urged to enjoy 4th, stay vigilant

'We believe everything's being done that should be done'

Powell said intelligence reports suggest that law enforcement should be
Powell said intelligence reports suggest that law enforcement should be "especially vigilant."  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With millions of Americans looking forward to fireworks shows and public activities over the Fourth of July holiday, the message from top Bush administration officials was to remain vigilant, but don't let terrorism concerns disrupt the festivities.

"Well, as you know, there have been a variety of reports coming in, intelligence reports that suggest we ought to be especially vigilant as we go into the Fourth of July season," Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Powell was referring to an alert he said was issued to law enforcement agencies nationwide -- but not the general public -- about possible terrorist activity around the Fourth of July.

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U.S. officials said the possibility of an attack on July 4 was mentioned Wednesday in the FBI's weekly electronic communication to field offices and state and local law enforcement agencies, which repeated the same general information included in previous alerts.

Powell called it a "prudent alert" and said the government would be assessing the potential for additional threats in the coming days. He said the FBI and CIA were working with intelligence and law enforcement at all levels to examine the threat potential.

"The administration looks constantly at the threat level," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said on CNN's "Late Edition."

"And right now we believe everything's being done that should be done to try and make July Fourth as safe as possible."

The FBI did not make any recommendations to local law enforcement, leaving security arrangements up to each jurisdiction.

Security efforts will be stepped up in the nation's capital for Fourth of July celebrations, but Washington Mayor Anthony Williams said it was just a reality of post September 11.

"People have come back to this city, they're visiting this city once again, and I think we can show, as we've shown over the last few months, that we can have an open city and a safe city. People have to allow more time now."

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman echoed the calls for vigilance, but said nothing extraordinary would be done in his city for the Fourth of July, including special searches.

"We're going to have our parades, we're going to have our symphonies, our concerts and everyone's going to have good time," Goodman said.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, also appearing on "Late Edition," said the city's goal was to be the most prepared city in the United States.

"We know that Seattle is mentioned frequently ... a computer was found in Afghanistan showing pictures of Seattle-area landmarks. So we are in constant contact with the FBI and with other federal authorities," Nickels said.

"We have had no specific or credible threats, but we don't take that as any kind of comfort. We know we need to be ready and we know that, that vigilance is the price of freedom."



 
 
 
 







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