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Reaction to the heightened terror alert warning issued Tuesday:

``We take every threat seriously. The threats that we have heard recently remind us of the pattern of threats that we heard prior to Sept. 11.'' _ President Bush.

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``As we have been forced to do in the past, today we once again call on the American people to remain alert, but defiant in the face of this new threat.'' _ Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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``If travel is in your plans, attendance at a public event is in your plans, we would like you to proceed; to do as you had planned to do, but be wary and be mindful.'' _ Homeland Security Adviser Tom Ridge.

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``For the last year we've been on an elevated alert. I don't know what color that corresponds to. Everyone talks about awareness. Believe me, we're aware.'' _ Alan Etter, spokesman for the Washington, D.C., Fire Department.

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``The city has been at orange since March when the feds announced this new coding system, so it is not changing anything here at this point.'' _ Ed Skyler, spokesman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office.

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``I believe the U.S. Capitol Building is still the target.'' The Capitol ``is the most enduring symbol of our whole nation'' and terrorists, just as they did with the World Trade Center first attacked in 1993, will come back for another try. _ U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.

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