Federal authorities are increasing security in Los Angeles, its local airports and other local hot spots throughout Southern California, after receiving new ISIS-related threats calling for attacks on uniformed personnel, according to US officials on NBC News. The visibility of airport police at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has increased Saturday. FBI Director Jim Comey said investigations into suspected ISIS sympathizers are underway in all 50 states.
Federal investigators say there were no specific plot but concerns increased as result of intelligence from overseas as well as ongoing monitoring of suspected radicals inside the United States. KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reported Friday that security was quietly beefed up at LAX following a nationwide terror threat made against airports. A federal source told KNX that security was beefed up just after noon Friday and will continue for the next 72 hours.The TSA said in a statement, We routinely shift security posture based on evolving threats but they would not confirm if there was a threat. CNN said the investigation started after intercepted communication and other intelligence information that led officials to believe that a plot could be under way. Sources, speaking on a condition of anonymity to NBC, said fears revolve around uniformed personnel, such as police officers, or locations where “lone wolf” terrorists could target.
The increased security also comes as counterterrorism worry that ISIS is growing in popularity in locations far away from Syria and Iraq, reports NBC, and as violence continues to spread. In March, ISIS laid claim to an attack to the Bardo Museum in Tunisia, with the violence escalating elsewhere since then. In the United States, officials have been arresting people who want to travel to the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq. In the past year alone, 39 U.S. citizens have been arrested for charges of offering to help ISIS, with eight Americans arrested just in the last week.
A Homeland Security spokesman refused to comment on what specific intelligence has caused increase concerns along the West Coast but did confirm that officials have boosted security in the past several months. “Over the last few months, we have made a number of security adjustments, including enhanced screening at select overseas airports and increasing random searches of passengers and carry-on luggage on flights inbound to the U.S., reflecting an evolving threat picture,” the spokesman said. ISIS, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has long called on its sympathizers to attack Western interests around the world.