Sunday, July 1, 2007

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — U.S. airports and mass-transit systems will tighten security in response to apparent terrorist incidents in Britain, the Bush administration said yesterday.

The United States, however, is not raising its terror-alert status, President Bush’s spokesman and the Homeland Security secretary said. “There is no indication of any specific or credible threat to the United States — no change in the overall security level,” White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters in Maine.

Britain raised its security alert to the highest level possible, an indication that terrorist attacks are imminent.

Acting out of “an abundance of caution” for the upcoming July Fourth holiday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that the government is implementing plans to increase security at airports, on mass transit and at transportation facilities.

“Some of these measures will be visible; others will not,” he said.

Mr. Chertoff added that “at this point, I have seen no specific, credible information suggesting that this latest incident is connected to a threat to the homeland.”

The Transportation Security Administration is posting more agents outside terminals at some airports, Mr. Snow said.

“There will be some inconvenience of passengers in terms of longer wait times,” he said. Local police also may take separate measures, Mr. Snow added.

Police stepped up curbside patrols with canine units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Newark Liberty in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York, took “a number of measures as we always do to respond to security situations immediately,” spokesman Steve Coleman said.

Operations at Miami International Airport went on heightened alert to continue through at least Independence Day. Officials were increasing patrols around the perimeter of Philadelphia International Airport.

“Certainly, there is a high awareness,” said spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell at Orlando International Airport in Florida. “We have taken steps in due diligence and are applying measures that are already in place.”

At Washington’s Reagan National and Dulles International airports, spokesman Ron Yingling said some measures are behind the scenes. “I don’t think there’s anything different in what passengers have to physically do to get through security that’s different from yesterday.”

Mr. Chertoff said his department and the FBI provided guidance on protective measures to state and local homeland security and law enforcement agencies.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the bureau stood ready to help British authorities.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide