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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.