News / USA

US Guards Against Terrorist Attacks Before 9-11 Anniversary

Multimedia

U.S. security officials are increasing efforts to thwart possible acts of terrorism in advance of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, terror attacks. While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not issued specific alerts, law enforcement agencies across the country have heightened security to prevent an assault by al-Qaida and its affiliates or by people acting on their own.


U.S. law enforcement agencies are enhancing security in places that might be terrorist targets. In New York City, a police patrol boat, able to detect a nuclear weapon, monitors shipping and officers inspect underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.  While there have been no specific threats, police take these patrols seriously.

"It is absolutely not a joke and the threat is very real," a New York police officer said.

The increased security measures come as the nation remembers the10th anniversary of the September 11tterrorist attacks. While the Department of Homeland Security says there is no specific evidence of an al-Qaida plot, the group’s late leader Osama bin Laden reportedly wanted operatives to fly a small plane into a sporting event around the anniversary.

"We have so many small airports and you can fly below radar, (so) that is possibly doable," said  Brad Garrett, a former FBI counter-terrorism agent.

Al-Qaida's new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri,  also appeared in numerous videos calling for attacks against U.S. targets and urging Muslims to support his cause.

"This is not the time to become complacent. In fact, in this window that al-Qaida is trying to exploit, we (the United States) should be exploiting and trying to prevent and preempt the next attack," said Frank Cilluffo, the director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. He says al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen and Somalia could play a role in an attack on U.S. soil.  

"With al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula (based in Yemen) and  al-Shabaab, (based in Somalia) you have a number of U.S. foreign fighters who have traveled to Yemen, who have traveled to Somalia and this is obviously a concern from a security standpoint," he said.

Counter-terrorism experts say al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula is believed to be behind failed plots to blow up U.S. planes. Since those plots unfolded, airport security has been heightened. Jonathan Broder, a defense and foreign policy editor with Congressional Quarterly, says security also needs to be increased on trains.

"There is nowhere near the kind of security in the homeland surrounding our trains and our transportation services like there is for our airlines," he said.

These days, there are extra police patrols at the nation's transportation hubs. Transit systems have started searching passengers' bags and police say more undercover officers are aboard commuter trains.

Analysts say another threat is from homegrown terrorists in the U.S. who have been radicalized by the Internet. In the past 10 years there have been at least 38 plots by homegrown terrorists. Two plots by U.S. residents to set off bombs in New York City failed in the past few years, and the men responsible arrested.

Broder says the country is still vulnerable to an attack. "I think our defenses 10 years after September 11th are a lot better than they were but there is no guarantee that a lone terrorist might (not) get through or that even a al-Qaida terrorist might (not) get through," he said.

Other counter-terrorism analysts say the best way to protect the U.S. is by adding more layers of security and expanding intelligence monitoring to stop the terrorists before they can launch an attack.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More