- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

From combined dispatches
The governors of Maryland and Virginia declared a state of emergency after attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center yesterday.
Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III said there was no threat to Virginia that prompted the declaration. The step was taken to allow the governor to instantly dispatch the state police, National Guard and emergency personnel just as he would in response to a devastating storm.
"The people of Virginia should remain calm about this. There is no direct threat to the commonwealth that we are aware of," Mr. Gilmore said during a news conference.
Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening and top staff evacuated the State House complex in Annapolis and traveled to the Reisterstown headquarters of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
Public-safety officials were on a "heightened state of alert," but Mr. Glendening urged citizens to avoid panicking.
"Marylanders should remain calm, follow the instructions of public-safety officials and come together as all Americans do in times of crisis and do all they can to help our friends and neighbors in need," Mr. Glendening said.
Officials in both states closed all but vital state and local offices, and clamped down on security statewide.
Mr. Gilmore acted after a wave of attacks against pre-eminent national financial and military structures, including the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington. He heads a federal anti-terrorism panel that concluded that such an attack was a high probability and that the nation was woefully unprepared for dealing with it.
"We will, over the next days and weeks, begin to absorb the human tragedy involved here," Mr. Gilmore said. "This is the world we live in, and it is a very, very dangerous world and there are a lot of people who are not friends with this country."
Mr. Gilmore put 300 Virginia Guard troops mostly medics, military police and engineers on active duty and put the entire Virginia National Guard on heightened alert. That includes a squadron of Guard F-16 fighter jets based at Richmond International Airport, an administration source said.
Security was tightened around the state's military bases in Hampton Roads, including the Norfolk Naval Station, the world's largest. Security was also heavy at the massive ports in Hampton Roads, one of the nation's major shipping gateways.
Authorities were stopping and searching vehicles entering the Hampton Roads and Monitor-Merrimac bridge tunnels.
Security was also tightened at the state Capitol and state office buildings nearby, but most state workers remained on duty. Only state workers in buildings that share space with federal agencies were sent home.
George Washington's Mount Vernon estate closed, largely because of its proximity to the nation's capital and military bases. Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's estate near Charlottesville, closed "out of respect for the victims, not out of fear of terrorism," spokesman Wayne Mogielnicki said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Glendening said Maryland officials received from a federal agency several days ago a "threat list" of targeted sites, which included the State House in Annapolis.
A few Maryland facilities were on the list, said Mr. Glendening, who would not elaborate, noting it would be inappropriate to name them while state officials were still securing them. He also declined to identify the agency that provided the list.
All state workers except for emergency, public safety and critical transportation officials were sent home, Glendening spokesman Mike Morrill said. The governor authorized counties statewide to shut down schools at their discretion.
At Andrews Air Force Base, officials instituted "Increased Force Protection," which means extra security measures were enacted, base spokesman Bobby Jones said.
Fort Detrick, home to the Army's main germ-warfare laboratory, was placed on "Force Protection Condition Alpha," spokesman Charles Dasey said. Police at the gates stopped cars without identification stickers and even searched some with stickers.
Authorities at Aberdeen Proving Grounds said the military-ordnance testing facility was on heightened alert. The base's two military airfields at the proving grounds operated during the day, spokesman George Mercer said.
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley said the city took steps to ward off any further terrorist attacks.
"We are taking every precaution to prepare our city as best as any city can be prepared for something like this," Mr. O'Malley said.
Dump trucks formed barriers around City Hall, and streets across the city were closed off to prevent a possible car-bombing attack, officials said. Route 83 south of St. Paul Street also was closed to keep it clear for emergency personnel, police Commissioner Edward Norris said.
Quick-response team members wearing riot gear and carrying submachine guns were positioned around downtown Baltimore as a precaution, Mr. Norris said.
"There have been no direct threats to Baltimore, but people are starting to get very antsy and edgy," Mr. Norris said.
The state Department of General Services police were placed on "heightened security status," spokesman Dave Humphrey said. State government buildings were restricted to employees only, he said.
The agency coordinated its efforts with the state police and with the executive-protective division, which is in charge of security for Mr. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.


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