Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New York braced for bin Laden death anniversary

Federal and local authorities have stepped up security in New York City today as a precaution on the anniversary of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death one year ago today, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
Though officials say there are no known threats centered on New York City -- the metropolis that suffered a majority of the casualties of the 9/11 attacks when the World Trade Center buildings fell in 2001 -- 240 federal, state, city and transportation police have been deployed to major transportation hubs like Grand Central Terminal and Times Square with heavy weapons, radiation detectors, bomb sniffing dogs and other equipment, authorities said.
The officials said the surge will include National Guard forces and Transportation Security Administration agents.
Beyond New York City, security officials in the U.S. and abroad are watching U.S.-bound flights carefully amid fears terrorists could attempt to smuggle explosives onto planes by actually hiding them inside their bodies. As ABC News reported Monday, security at several airports in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East has been substantially stepped up, with a focus on U.S. carriers.
Additional federal air marshals have also been shifted overseas in advance of the anniversary. While President Obama announced bin Laden's death to the world on the night of May 1, 2011 in the U.S., it was already May 2 in Pakistan when the terror leader was killed by an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs.
In public, U.S. officials say there is no credible information of an impending attack. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard released a statement Monday evening saying, "We have no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the U.S. tied to the one-year anniversary of bin Laden's death."

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