On December 11, 2003, Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge raised the threat level to orange. ” ‘The U.S. intelligence community has received a substantial increase in the volume of threat-related intelligence reports. These credible sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the homeland around the holiday season and beyond. The strategic indicators, including al-Qaida’s continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since September 11th, 2001. The information we have indicates that extremists abroad are anticipating near-term attacks that they believe will either rival, or exceed, the attacks that occurred in New York and the Pentagon and the fields of Pennsylvania nearly two years ago.’ ”

 – Ian S. Lustick, Trapped in the War on Terror, Page 108