New terror warning, but no heightened security alert - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New terror warning, but no heightened security alert

Jeannie Bowser Jeannie Bowser
Cindy Knapman Cindy Knapman

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - According to a bulletin obtained by the Associated Press the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement across the country Monday that Osama bin Laden's death may inspire extremists in the United States to commit acts of terrorism in the near-term. But Homeland Security has not issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) alert.

Security at some U.S. airports tightened after the announcement by President Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden had been killed, but Monday it seemed like business as usual at Honolulu International Airport.

"I've been in some really weird countries where you don't feel safe on the street. This is safe. We're safe," said Jeannie Bowser, a visitor from Texas while waiting at the airport.

"I flew in from Houston and I actually had no apprehension about flying today what so ever. I didn't hear anyone discussing it in the airport and I actually didn't notice any heightened security in Houston or here when I arrived," added Honolulu resident Cindy Knapman while waiting for her bags at baggage claim.

In their bulletin the FBI and Homeland Security indicate homegrown extremists are more likely to carry out near-term attacks than core al-Qaida groups.

The Transportation Security Administration would not provide anyone to answer questions about security at Hawaii's airports. Instead it issued a statement and referred the media to a press release from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"We remain at a heightened state of vigilance," Napolitano said. "But the Department of Homeland Security does not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time,"

Napolitano said NTAS alerts are only issued when "we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public."

The intelligence community has no information of planned terror plots in the U.S., but believes U.S. cities, aviation, mass transit, and U.S. government facilities will continue to be attractive targets for terrorists, according to the bulletin.

"As always, passengers may notice a variety of security measures at U.S. airports to include the use of physical bag check, random gate screening, explosives detection technology, canine teams and behavior detection officers," the TSA said in its release. It asks the traveling public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to authorities.

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