- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Virginia’s delegation to the Republican National Convention will host its main soiree at New York City’s Citigroup Center, which the federal government warned has been targeted by terrorists.

Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, who will head the state’s delegation, said yesterday he wasn’t worried about security concerns.

He said the delegation has been working with Citigroup officials for the past week, since the Department of Homeland Security raised the threat level from yellow to orange for financial institutions in New York, New Jersey and the District.

The party will be held in a ballroom at the top of the landmark skyscraper.

“I think it will be the most secure building in town,” Mr. Kilgore told The Washington Times yesterday. “Everyone has to bring ID now.”

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Aug. 1 identified the Citigroup building and the New York Stock Exchange as specific targets for al Qaeda terrorists.

After the announcement, Citigroup told workers that extra steps were taken to try to protect them from any terrorist attack.

Republican Party of Virginia spokesman Shawn Smith said several hundred people are expected for the party, which will be held in the Citigroup Center’s ballroom on Sept. 2 after President Bush delivers his acceptance speech for the party’s nomination.

“We have full confidence the appropriate security measures will be taken,” he said. “Preparations in New York City are probably the best in the country.”

— Christina Bellantoni

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