With the rise of terrorism fears, Washington D.C. is taking no chances on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Although a normally solemn day for the United States, this year’s anniversary, according to The Hill, has “taken on more ominous significance due to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”
Washington television station KMTV reported that Capitol Hill staffers have had no warning of any specific threats related to the 911 anniversary, and the national threat level has not been raised. However, some staffers revealed that they have been warned to keep their car keys and wallets on them at all times in the event the Capitol needs to be evacuated.
Staffers also expect a larger police presence on Capitol Hill this week, and one senior Democratic aide noted that U.S. Capitol have been “more meticulous” about checking IDs.
Officer Shennell Antrobus, spokesperson for the Capitol Police, said, “In regard to the anniversary of 9/11, there will be multiple layers of security enhancements throughout the Capitol Complex; some measures will be visible and others will not.”
Antrobus added that the Capitol Police would maintain a “constant state of vigilance” and work with other law enforcement agencies to share information. “Actionable intelligence information is important at it helps up modify our security plans, when necessary, and coordinate operations,” he said.
According to The Hill, police have used a low-profile approach to upping security so as not to raise anxiety. There have also been signs of increased security at other potential terrorist targets, such as the Pentagon.
Lawmakers have become more concerned recently about the potential for terrorists attacks on home soil since reports have been released claiming hundreds of U.S. citizens have trained with the Sunni militant group.
Former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Pete Hill, feels that ISIS poses a bigger domestic threat than al Qaeda did after 9/11.
New York City officials are also taking precautions against potential terrorist threats. The NYPD commissioner and other security professionals are working together to provide security measures for the city.
Robert Strang, former Justice Department special agent, told PIX11 News,”…we now have (terrorist) groups that are in Europe, all over the United States, and we never know when they are going to attack.”
President Obama met with counterterrorism advisers earlier in the week to discuss security preparations for this year’s 9/11 anniversary.
The president also outlined his strategy to deal with the ISIS threat in a televised address tonight, saying “we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIS.” Read more about Obama’s address in this Inquisitr article.
Reuters image courtesy of Radio Free Europe