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Terror threat level lowered to 'elevated'

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The nation's terror threat level was lowered Friday to yellow, or "elevated," 10 days after it was raised to orange, or "high," because of intelligence indicating plans of terrorist attacks, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said.

Counterterrorism officials said intelligence indicating possible attacks had diminished in recent days and the period of heightened vulnerability surrounding the Memorial Day holiday had passed without incident.

Another factor that played a part in Friday's decision, officials said, was concern over the financial toll the move to "orange" alert status was taking on cash-strapped state and local governments, requiring them to implement tighter security measures.

Homeland Security boosted the national alert level on May 20 after the U.S. intelligence community indicated that al Qaeda had entered an "operational period worldwide" and might attack within the United States.

The raised terror threat level came a week after the nearly simultaneous bombings at three residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which 34 people died, including eight Americans. Nine attackers also died.

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