News / USA

US Guards Against Terrorist Attacks Before 9-11 Anniversary

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid