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Security around White House bolstered

No specific threat cited

From Suzanne Malveaux
CNN Washington Bureau

A member of the uniformed divison of the Secret Service pulls back a fence to permit people to leave the perimiter of the White House on Tuesday.
A member of the uniformed divison of the Secret Service pulls back a fence to permit people to leave the perimiter of the White House on Tuesday.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Security around the White House was increased Tuesday -- a move that comes as the nation stands on the brink of war with Iraq.

The Secret Service expanded the security perimeter Tuesday around the White House complex, restricting pedestrian traffic. Tours of the executive mansion, which had been suspended and then restricted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, have been suspended again.

Secret Service Special Agent Marc Connolly said pedestrians are prohibited from walking around the White House unless they have an appointment or have an official White House pass.

Tuesday, uniformed division officers asked White House staffers, and press corps members to show their passes at checkpoints set up one block away from the White House grounds.

Metal fencing barricades ring the sidewalks adjacent to the White House.

Connolly said the Secret Service routinely makes adjustments to White House security based on events and evaluations. He said these changes do not automatically happen at an orange terror threat alert level. The threat level was raised Monday night, following President Bush's address to the nation about Iraq.

A senior administration official said the changes were not a reaction to any specific threats made on the White House.

In his speech, Bush said Iraq faced U.S.-led military invasion unless Saddam Hussein gave up power and left that country.


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