The Washington Post

Napolitano: No specific terror threat against U.S. as 9/11 anniversary approaches

Jody Masquefa of Yorba Linda, Calif., puts flags in the ground at the Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, Calif., where a memorial to those killed in the 9/11 attacks was being built. (MICHAEL GOULDING,/AP)

Despite that, “we remain at a heightened state of vigilance and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States should they emerge,” the secretary said in a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security Friday morning.

“The safety and security of the American public remains our highest priority” Napolitano said. “While threats remain, our nation is stronger than it was on 9/11, more prepared to confront evolving threats, and more resilient than ever before.”

Other homeland security officials have also said in recent days that there are no specific terror threats tied to the 9/11 anniversary.

Americans remain at risk in other corners of the world however. In Iraq, for example, al-Qaeda’s affiliate there has vowed to carry out 100 attacks this month to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden; other militant groups have also targeted U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in that country.

The secretary’s statement comes as Obama administration is preparing to mark the decade since the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania with a series of events next week.

Aides said Obama, Vice President Biden and Napolitano will make several appearances next week honoring emergency first responders and the families of those who died on 9/11. For her part, Napolitano is expected to visit Boston next Sunday after joining Obama in New York, because two of the hijacked planes that crashed on 9/11 originated in the Boston area.

Napolitano’s comments also come as the White House has in recent days distributed detailed guidelines to government officials on what to say about the anniversary, instructing officials to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks and note that terrorism continues around the world.

In her statement, Napolitano also said, “Homeland security is a shared responsibility, and everyone plays an important role in helping to keep our communities safe and secure. We remind our federal, state, local partners, and the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities.”

Those sentiments coincide with the start of National Preparedness Month, an annual effort urging Americans to work with their families, colleagues and neighbors to develop personal emergency plans in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost


CIA shifts focus to killing targets

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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