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US Financial Employees Return To Work Despite Terror Alert - 2004-08-02

Financial industry employees in New York, Washington, and New Jersey returned to work as usual Monday, a day after the U.S. government warned that al-Qaida could be planning an attack on key financial targets.

Security has been tightened around the five potential targets mentioned in the alert-- the New York Stock Exchange, New York's Citigroup Center; the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, and the Prudential Building in Newark, New Jersey.

In New York, authorities have barred commercial trucks and vans from crossing bridges and tunnels into the city's financial district.

Meanwhile, extra police are patrolling around the IMF and World Bank in Washington

Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge urged residents to be vigilant but to go about their business Monday--saying intelligence has given no time-frame for a possible attack.

On Sunday, Mr. Ridge raised the national terror alert level in Washington from elevated to high. New York continues at the high level.

A senior U.S. intelligence official says the move was based on intelligence that found that al-Qaida had gathered information on the buildings that was "chilling" in its scope and detail.

The official says that among other details, operatives studied whether the buildings had features that would make them likely to withstand an explosion.

Some information for this report provided by AP.