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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush extended by one year the ``basic terror alert'' imposed three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, citing the ongoing threat of a terrorist strike.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the directive ``allows the secretary of defense and the secretary of the treasury to have more authority'' to deal with the threat of terrorism, ``particularly the ability to call up reserves.''

While the nation is at war, he said, ``How could you not extend it?''