Security Enhanced After the Terrorist Attack

After Tuesday's deadly terrorist attacks, security measures have been ordered increased in the United States or its neighbors and other countries.

US Enhances Security Measures Following Terrorist Attacks

Normal life all but ground to a halt in the United States in the wake of Tuesday's deadly terrorist attacks, as airports, office buildings and major amusement parks were shut down as a precaution against possible new terrorist strikes.

Federal buildings, including those housing the US Congress, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, were evacuated and closed.

White House officials said that all airports nationwide were expected to remain closed at least until noon Wednesday.

Washington' streets that had been overtaken by gridlock only hours earlier were calm and quiet, with only handfuls of office workers still in the city and most shops, restaurants and cafes shuttered. Many had hand-written notes taped to the doors saying, "Closed for the day."

The shutdowns and cancellations came after two passenger planes, apparently hijacked by terrorists, rammed the twin tower of the World Trade Center in New York earlier in the day, causing them to collapse.

In Washington, a plane attacked the US Defense Department building, destroying one of its sections.

In response, private companies quickly followed the federal government by sending their employees home early and shutting their office buildings.

Meanwhile, most banks remained open, US financial markets closed after the attacks.

Georgetown and George Washington University have cancelled classes, as did all Washington area public schools.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has activated its emergency operations center, the agency said.

The Department of Justice has immediate responsibility for crisis management in this situation, FEMA said.

FEMA will coordinate the federal government's response to the attacks on behalf of President George W. Bush, according to the agency.

All US nuclear power plants, research reactors, nuclear fuel facilities and gaseous diffusion plants have been placed on the highest level of security alert as a precaution.

Train service between Washington and New York has been shut down as were all major roads leading to New York City. Similar precautions have been taken in other cities.

Earlier, President George W. Bush said that he ordered the US military to be placed on "high-alert status" after a spate of apparent terrorist attacks on targets on US soil.

In his brief statement at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, Bush vowed to "hunt down and punish" the authors of a spate of lethal terrorist attacks on US targets that caused the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York.

"The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts," he said.

Canada Tightens Security in Wake of Attack on US

Canadian security services and police went on "heightened alert" Tuesday after terrorist attacks on the United States demolished the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, and the Pentagon, the nerve center of the American military in Washington D.C.

Canadian police officer Giuliano Zaccardelli said his forces have increased security and, while no direct threat to Canada existed, the situation was continually being assessed.

"We are evaluating something horrendous that happened very close to us," he told a news conference. "This is something that is done on a minute-by-minute basis.

"We have taken certain measures in reacting to the situation, as it has evolved today here in Canada, to ensure that we provide the best possible security to the citizens of this country," he added.

The measures include greater protection for certain buildings, such as the US and Israeli embassies, and closer scrutiny of borders. Security officials were advising the prime minister in efforts to ensure his safety.

Canadian airspace was closed to most aircraft. Only planes deployed for humanitarian reasons as well as search-and-rescue, police, military and Transport. Canada aircraft were allowed to depart from Canada.

Argentina Steps up Security Measures After Attack in the US

Argentina's President, Fernando De la Rua, ordered on Tuesday security measures in the country to prevent attacks, in the wake of the terrorist attacks happened in the US, said Communication Minister Juan P. Baylac.

Surveillance will be strengthened at strategic spots as " Jewish, Muslim and US targets across the country" and buildings considered as important, according to Argentina's Interior Security Minister, Enrique Mathov.

Argentina's cabinet meeting was suspended on Tuesday to analyze security measures to be implemented in the country, after the terrorist attacks against New York city's World Trade Center, and the Defense Department in Washington D.C..

The "consternation caused by such an event "highlighted" the Argentine people's "solidarity with the US people", said Baylac in the Governmental Residence at a press conference after the suspension of the meeting.

Baylac reminded the similar circumstances his nation is in during the last decade. The Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was attacked in 1992, leaving 29 deaths. Two years later, a Jewish organization in Argentina was attacked, killing 85 people.

Security Stepped up in Australia

Police are securing key sites across the Australian cities in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States.

Road blocks were set up around the US Embassy in Canberra and children were evacuated from the complex.

Officers also were deployed at the Israel Embassy.

At Parliament House thousands of staff arriving for work were being screened by security officers and police have stepped up security at Canberra Airport.

ACT chief police officer John Murray told a local radio that " We have a well established plan that has been in place for well over a decade now and we have contingencies for these sorts of things."

The United States consulates in Sydney and Melbourne have been shut down Wednesday and the United States flags have not been raised on poles in front of the buildings.

A special operations group of bomb disposal experts arrived for a precautionary sweep of the complex of the US consulate in Melbourne and planned demonstration by anti-nuclear group Friends of the Earth planned for Wednesday was called off.

Philippine Military on Alert

Philippine military is on alert following the terrorist attacks on the United States, Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Edilberto P. Adan said.

"We are still monitoring the situation because there may be some groups who might take advantage of the tension," the Business World quoted Adan as saying Wednesday.

"We have alerted our regular security forces at the airports, ports and other entry points. We have not deployed troops yet. But we have our contingency forces ready," Adan said.

The Philippine National Police has ordered its officers to closely guard the US embassy in Manila. The embassy is opened on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, authority of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila has declared a cancellation of all flights bound for the United States until conditions improve in the US

Philippine Consul General to New York Linglingay Lacanlale Wednesday morning said in a radio interview that the Philippine Consulate in New York has not yet received any report of Filipino casualties in the wake of the coordinated terrorist attack in New York and Washington D.C.

President Arroyo will push through with her four-day working visit to Japan beginning Wednesday despite the apparent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the Presidential Palace said.

Security was tightened up around the Presidential Palace. Presidential guards patrolled the Palace grounds and strict security measures were implemented at the entrance and exit points of the Palace.

Japan Coast Guard Tightens Security Around US Bases

The Japan Coast Guard on Wednesday stepped up security around US military bases in Japan following Tuesday's devastating terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Kyodo News reported.

Patrol boats have been sent to monitor waters around the bases and conduct on-board inspections of all unidentified ships, the report quoted coast guard officials as saying.

The bases affected are located in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture in northeastern Japan, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture in eastern Japan, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan and Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture in southwestern Japan.

( 09/12/2001)

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US Under Terrorist Attack



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