MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As the United States and the world reacted to the news that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dead, law enforcement at both the national and state level prepared for the possibility that a retaliatory strike could be in the works.
Officially, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday morning that there are no plan to raise the domestic terror alert status after bin Laden’s death.
The old terrorist threat levels of green, yellow, orange, etc. are no longer used. Instead, a system called the National Terrorism Advisory System is now in place. Currently, there are no alerts that have been issued under NTAS.
But, there is a worldwide travel alert issued by the U.S. State Department warning against possible anti-American violence in the wake of bin Laden’s death.
Needless to say, passengers are still a bit wary of travel in the hours after the death of Osama bin Laden.
“You just kind of wonder, because there might be some retaliation,” said traveler Denise Hance.
Miami International Airport isn’t naming anything in particular they are doing to boost security, but the airport does want passengers to know they are stepping up their vigilance.
“The Aviation Department, working with our federal and local law enforcement agencies, have ratcheted up our security a notch against those who may seek revenge for our actions,” said Lauren Stover, Director of Security at Miami International Airport. “We will continue our fight against terrorism and will continue our vigilance against those who would do us harm.”
“I’m a little nervous with the kids but you know, as they say, you know you don’t want that to rule your life,” said Vicki Nevinger as she and her children tried to get home to Chicago.
Steps are also being taken to safeguard the county’s Metrorail and transit systems. Operation Viper includes officer from a host of local and federal agencies who scour train and bus lines across the region looking for anything suspicious.
“Any suspicious activity. Occasionally somebody will maybe leave a briefcase behind or something to that event which is not in the norm for a rider to come across,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman Sgt. Pete Andreau.
At Fort Lauderdale International Airport, spokesman Greg Meyer said that airport leadership is “very aware of the situation” and is taking appropriate actions as they do everyday to known and unknown threats.
At both MIA and Fort Lauderdale International Airport, passengers were reminded that just because bin Laden is dead, doesn’t mean that the security put in place after the 9/11 attacks will go away.
BSO and other law enforcement agencies were reminding passengers to be extra vigilant in their upcoming travels as the nation guards itself against any possible retaliatory strikes.
“If you see something suspicious, if something doesn’t look right, call us!” said Lt. Brian Montgomery of the BSO. “We would rather respond and have it be nothing, than you not call and have it be something.”
Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise and cargo ports in the world, has had heightened security in place for the last decade. But much like the airports, there’s no call for added security at this point.
“We’ve reviewed our security plans to make sure if the threat level is increased, we’re ready to go into action,” said Port Everglades spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy.
The stepped-up security and the extra attention has many travelers feeling at ease.
“I feel safe,” said traveler Leon Williams. “I mean they established that a long time ago and everything’s been set in place as far as security, homeland security.”
“I have a little thought, but then I’m more concerned about the weather and the tornadoes that have been happening,” said traveler Allison McClymont.
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