Increased "chatter" among suspected terrorists leads the Department of Homeland Security to raise the threat level from yellow ("elevated") to orange ("high").
WASHINGTON (CNN)—The Department of Homeland Security raised the U.S. terror threat level from elevated to high Sunday, warning of possible terrorist strikes more devastating than the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the move was the result of a "substantial increase" in the volume of intelligence pointing to "near-term attacks that could either rival or exceed what we experienced on September 11."
Ridge also urged the public to be patient with stricter security measures "in the coming days and weeks" and to proceed with holiday plans despite the threat. "America is a country that will not be bent by terror," he said.
DHS last raised the threat level to orange on May 20, following suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco. DHS reduced the threat level to yellow 10 days later.