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Air Patrols Resume Over N.Y., D.C.

September 7, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Military jets have resumed round-the-clock patrols over New York and Washington as the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches.

The 24-hour military flights resumed Friday, said Lt. Col. Cathy Abbott, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The Defense Department started the round-the-clock patrols after the Sept. 11 attacks and began phasing them out in April, Pentagon officials have said. The patrols had continued sporadically when officials received threats.

Pentagon officials declined to say Friday whether the resumption of air patrols was because of a specific threat or because of the one-year anniversary of the attacks.

U.S. counterterrorism officials say they have detected a mild increase in the terrorist ``chatter″ in the run-up to Sept. 11, but don’t believe it is significant or a sign of a major impending attack.

The ``chatter″ _ intelligence from various sources that monitor suspected terrorists’ communications _ fluctuates often and was far greater around the July 4 holiday, one official said.

While officials are concerned that al-Qaida may try an attack on the anniversary of Sept. 11, they note the group has never marked anniversaries or holidays, unlike other terrorist organizations.

Federal law enforcement officials have issued no major terror alerts to local police in recent days, according to a Justice Department official.

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