Threat Level Raised

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

The news from homeland security director Tom Ridge Sunday was that the terror alert has been raised from yellow or elevated to orange or high.

An increase in threats at home or abroad are what led to the move that marks the fifth time the level has been raised to orange since the color coded system began in March 2002.

The number of uneventful level increases is causing many people in central Wisconsin to disregard the warnings.

"I don't worry about it," said area resident Time Hinke, "I just live everyday, like everyday. 'Nothing Changes?' 'Not to me, no."

"I don't really feel like I'm gonna be affected too greatly by it," said another resident Jonathan Wipfin. "I don't know, just go on having a normal life."

But that feeling of ambivalence is exactly what those behind the warning system hope will not happen. Ridge says it has been the attention the warnings have drawn to terrorism that has helped prevent attacks in the past.

"We know from experience that the increased level of security that is implemented when we raise the threat level along with increased vigilance," said Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, "can help disrupt or deter terror attacks."

But there are still those that feel it has no affect on terrorists or worse yet, actually makes the environment more dangerous.

"If there were actually a serious threat and the terror alert went up and we're all so desensitized to the idea that nobody would care," said resident Damien Harris, "and then we'd be in a world of hurt if something actually happened."

One last note, ridge did say terrorists are still interested in using aircraft for attacks.

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