EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 16, 2013

Security beefed up worldwide after Boston blasts


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — NEW YORK (AP) — From the World Trade Center and Times Square in New York to the White House and sports venues across the country, police patrolled in packs and deployed counterterrorism teams yesterday as security was stepped up after explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Worries also reverberated across the Atlantic, where an already robust security operation was being beefed up for tomorrow’s ceremonial funeral for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The event at St. Paul’s Cathedral, to be attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other dignitaries, calls for a procession through the streets of London, with Thatcher’s flag-draped coffin carried on a horse-drawn carriage.

British police were also reviewing security plans for Sunday’s London Marathon — the next major international race — because of the bombs that killed three people and injured more than 140 in Boston.

Across the U.S., security was tightened at landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events. Law enforcement agencies also urged the public via Twitter and Facebook to report suspicious activity to the police.

In New York, authorities deployed so-called critical response teams— highly visible patrol units that move in packs with lights and sirens, — along with more than 1,000 counterterrorism officers. Highly trafficked areas like the Empire State building, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the United Nations and the World Trade Center site were being especially monitored.

At the White House, the Secret Service expanded its security perimeter after the attacks, shutting down Pennsylvania Avenue and cordoning off the area with yellow police tape. Several Secret Service patrol cars blocked off entry points, although the White House was not on lockdown and tourists and other onlookers were still allowed in the park across the street.

Police in Los Angeles, Washington, San Diego, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta and other major cities were monitoring events closely.

In California, emergency management officials activated their statewide threat assessment system, which was established after the Sept. 11 attacks. And officials in multiple cities and counties throughout the state were reviewing information from federal authorities for possible threats.

In New Jersey, authorities raised security statewide, calling in off-duty state police officers and deploying bomb units, aviation crews, tactical teams and search and rescue assets as a precaution.

Transit and port officials in New York and New Jersey were on heightened alert at bridges, tunnels and on rail lines between the two states, as well as on New York City’s subway system and commuter rails.

In Seattle, police increased patrols in neighborhoods and around government buildings and other facilities. In Colorado a statewide alert was sent out advising law enforcement agencies to look out for suspicious activities.