Murkowski comments on national security alert

Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski called on Alaskans to be vigilant and directed state officials to aid in responding to a heightened national security threat level issued by the Bush administration Friday.

The Bush administration upgraded its color-coded security threat level to orange -- just one step below its highest alert status -- citing increased likelihood of terrorist activity.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said intelligence data points to a possible attack timed to coincide with the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The holy period begins Saturday and ends in mid-February.

Murkowski instructed officials within state agencies of Homeland Security, Emergency Services, National Guard and Public Safety to work closely with federal and local officials during the alert.

''While there have not been specific threats made to Alaska, it is important to remember that we do have targets here, including industry, natural resources and energy production facilities as well as our population centers,'' Murkowski said in a statement.

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