- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2001

Law-enforcement authorities nationwide have upgraded already heightened security measures to guard against possible renewed attacks on America in the wake of yesterday's strike by allied forces on military targets and terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
In response to an FBI request yesterday for state and local authorities to move to the "highest alert" for possible terrorist activities, security tightened around hundreds of locations throughout the country, particularly government buildings, sports stadiums and entertainment centers.
The enhanced security focused on possible attacks by truck and car bombers who would target what authorities have called "exposed infrastructure."
"All law enforcement agencies have been asked to evaluate whether additional local security measures are warranted in light of the military operations and the current threat level," the FBI said in a statement.
The nation's airports also remain on "heightened alert," with National Guard units walking perimeter duty. The U.S. Coast Guard is boarding and searching ships at several locations, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle, and security has been increased at nuclear power plants and oil refineries.
U.S. fighter jets have been assigned to combat patrols over major cities.
"At my request, many governors have activated the National Guard to strengthen airport security. We have called up reserves to reinforce our military capability and strengthen the protection of our homeland," President Bush told the nation in announcing yesterday's military strikes.
"In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security, patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals, patience in all the sacrifices that may come," he said.
The increased security comes after yesterday's strike by U.S. and British warplanes and sea-launched missiles at air-defense sites, air bases, communications and training camps of al Qaeda, the terrorist organization founded and funded by Osama bin Laden.
In New York, where more than 5,000 people died when two hijacked jetliners crashed Sept. 11 into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, additional police officers and National Guard units were deployed at sensitive sites around the city, including airports and at all entry and departure points into New York.
But no major public buildings, bridges or roads would be closed, said Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
"Life goes on as normal in New York," Mr. Giuliani said. "Yes, we have heightened security; we've had that for some time. It has been increased as a result of the action that's being taken in Afghanistan."
U.S. embassies and other American targets abroad also have come under increased security. The State Department issued strong warnings to U.S. citizens that the strikes could spur terrorist retaliation.
"The U.S. government instituted military action today pursuant to its inherent right of self-defense. This act may result in strong anti-American sentiment and retaliatory acts against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world by terrorists and those who are sympathetic to or otherwise support terrorists," the State Department said in a statement.
The increased security also was evident in the Washington area, where the region's myriad police departments deployed additional officers to guard government buildings and the surrounding roads.
A number of trucks coming into the city were being stopped and searched, a plan Metropolitan Police are expected to keep in operation over the next several days. Police in Maryland and Virginia also were stopping "suspicious" trucks.
As news of the attacks spread, Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening ordered extra state troopers to PSINet Stadium for the Baltimore Ravens-Tennessee Titans game. The governor said in a statement he had raised the state's emergency preparedness "to a heightened level of alertness and we have deployed additional state troopers to large events, to the airport, and to other potential targets."
In the District, hundreds of Harley-Davidson bikers who were marching on the western grounds of the U.S. Capitol to raise funds for the 194 Pentagon victims were ordered to leave the grounds as a safety precaution.
D.C. police, who are operating from a 24-hour command center, announced that 21st Street NW will be closed in front of the State Department through Tuesday's rush hour, and police were considering other street closings around the U.S. Capitol.
Lt. Dan Nichols, spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said additional officers have been deployed to patrol the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings in addition to buildings and adjoining parks in a 40-square-block area around the Capitol.
Although traffic during today's Columbus Day federal holiday is expected to be lighter than usual, D.C. police said they expect the same sort of tight security checks that caused congestion around military installations and government buildings in the first days after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Last week, U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress there was a high probability that Islamic extremists associated with al Qaeda and bin Laden could try a new round of attacks either in this country or against U.S. targets overseas. Officials at the FBI and the CIA have rated the chance of a new attacks as very high, based on what the intelligence officials described as credible new information.
"We have to believe there will be another attempt by a terrorist group to hit us again," said Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "You can just about bet on it. That's just something you have to believe will happen."
Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on ABC's "This Week" program there was "ample unclassified evidence" showing that the events of Sept. 11 were "to be part of a series of events, inside the United States and elsewhere, and that there is no all-clear signal yet."
Attorney General John Ashcroft also warned against the "likelihood of additional terrorist activity" during several briefings and television appearances last week, a message he has steadfastly delivered since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. He also said that "risks go up" once the United States responds with military action.
Meanwhile, the FBI continues to follow the money trail in tracking down those who planned, financed and assisted in the Sept. 11 attacks of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Agents have focused on the specific relationships the 19 hijackers aboard the four commandeered jetliners had with bin Laden and al Qaeda.
The FBI, according to federal law-enforcement authorities, believes that Mohamed Atta, identified as the plot's ringleader and the pilot aboard the American Airlines flight that crashed into the World Trade Center's north tower, was a key player in the transfer of funds for the attacks including at last two wire transfers from Egypt to Florida. The FBI said the transfers went to Atta on Sept. 8 and 9 from Mustafah Ahmed, whom authorities believe is one of bin Laden's chief financial operatives.

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