Hawaii not targeted in terrorist threat, but security up ... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii not targeted in terrorist threat, but security up for 9/11 anniversary

Travelers at the Honolulu International Airport Travelers at the Honolulu International Airport
Tom Simon Tom Simon
Buddy Lowrey Buddy Lowrey
Joanne Lancaster Joanne Lancaster
Gary Lancaster Gary Lancaster

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii does not appear to be targeted in a new, unconfirmed terrorist threat, but vigilance has been increased because of it, and air travelers remain confident about flying.

The threat to use car bombs against bridges or tunnels in New York or Washington was relayed to FBI officials in Honolulu in a conference call at noon Thursday, according to FBI special agent Tom Simon.

"I want to stress through, that we have no information that Hawaii or any Hawaii interest has been targeted for any kind of terrorist attack," said Simon.

"As soon as we received this intelligence about a potential threat to a U.S. target, we immediately reached out to the various chiefs of police on the various Hawaiian islands to let them know that the threat exists, and to put their minds at ease that Hawaii has not been specifically targeted, but to add to them that we want to have an increased sense of vigilance and everyone keeping their eyes open, just to make sure that Hawaii residents are safe," Simon said.

There already is tighter security around the state because of the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, including more barriers and guards around the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building.

"The upgraded security to the Federal Building and all federal bases over the weekend have more to do with the tenth anniversary of 9/11 than any specific threat that happened today," Simon said.

At Honolulu International Airport, travelers getting ready to depart for the mainland took note.

"You gotta be concerned," said local resident Buddy Lowrey. "You gotta be aware and look out for the other guy and other people and all that. That's the way I look at it. If you see something that doesn't look right, you need to report it and just stay safe. That's the main thing."

"Flying from Hawaii to Utah, I feel safe," said Joanne Lancaster. "Now, if I was flying in New York, around there, I might not feel quite so safe."

But most of those traveling during this anniversary weekend feel that measures are being taken to keep citizens safe, and that Homeland Security is working.

"I haven't given it any thought," said Utah resident Gary Lancaster. "I think they're doing fine. I think they're doing a good job with it."

"They're all on upper alert, and that's what they have to be," said Lowrey. "I have no problems traveling.

Related story: Officials chase unconfirmed al-Qaida bomb threat

 

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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