I’m no expert, but does this make sense?
Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terrorist plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.
Capitol Hill Blue reports that there may be some rumblings of dissatisfaction over the way security is being handled by the Bush administration:
Sources within the Department of Homeland Security say DHS Secretary Tom Ridge argued against raising the terror alert and going public with a list of specific buildings but Attorney General John Ashcroft overruled him. Ridge has told aides he will quit his job even if President Bush is re-elected, saying he is tired of seeing politics take precedence over security.
Translated, it seems to indicate that raising the threat level to Orange was more a reaction to the Democratic convention than to any specific intelligence regarding a possible terror attack.