US Steps Up Security Following Brussels Attacks

Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

Washington, 13 Jumadil Akhir 1437/23 Mar 2016 (MINA) – Security at U.S. airports and public transit systems have been stepped up following deadly attacks in the Belgian capital that have killed at least 34 victims and injured more than 100 others.

In New York City, the Metropolitan Transit Authority said “Enhanced canine teams and heavy weapons teams are deployed” on several lines, and at the bustling Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stressed, however, that there is no known credible threat to his state, but outlined a series of efforts to step up security at high profile locations.

That included sending the New York National Guard to JFK International Airport, as well as the nearby LaGuardia Airport, according to a statement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the five boroughs are ready to fight against terror in every way.

“The community of nations has to stand together in moments like this and reject the forces of terror and the appalling violence that they reek upon innocent people,” de Blasio said.

“What the terrorists want is for us to change our ways. The terrorists want to undermine our democracy, they want to undermine our values, they want to see us in panic. We refuse to be afraid, we refuse to change who we are.”

The mayor stressed that the U.S. will respond to terrorists by showing order as the society and New York City will continue functioning.

The Department of Homeland Security had not elevated the threat level as of (1500 GMT) but tweeted that it “will not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate”.

“At present, we have no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the U.S,” the head of the agency said via Twitter.

Meanwhile, the transit authority in the nation’s capital said that it is closely monitoring the events in Brussels, but currently there is “no known threat” to area transit.

It did, however, increase K9 sweeps and additional patrols as a precaution.

At least 34 people were killed and more than 100 injured in multiple explosions at an airport and metro station in Brussels on Tuesday morning.

The first two blasts were reported at Zaventem airport, where at least 14 people were killed and dozens of others injured at approximately 8 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), according to VRT.

The Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office said at least one of the blasts at the airport was a suicide attack, according to media reports. (T/P010/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)