Watch CBSN Live

Not Out Of '04 Terror Woods Yet

The U.S. made it through the election season but Government counter terror experts say the threat of an attack by al Qaeda is still serious.

The Homeland Security Department has lowered the terror alert for the financial sector in New York, Washington and northern New Jersey. But authorities still caution the risk of attack is still very high -- perhaps even coming this year.

Homeland Security Deputy Secretary James Loy says breathing a sigh of relief and taking it easy would be "a very dangerous train of thought."

U.S. authorities say they remain concerned about the upcoming holidays, the January presidential inauguration and beyond.

Now, counterterrorism officials are analyzing why al Qaeda may not have attacked and what may be ahead. One expert says three messages from Osama bin Laden to Americans have been followed by attacks eventually. A videotaped message from bin Laden surfaced the friday night before the election.

(c)MMIV, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed