Agencies, employees on alert for terrorist attacks

tshoop@govexec.com

Faced with the prospect of retaliation in the wake of U.S. cruise missile attacks on suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, federal facilities and employees around the world are on heightened alert.

According to an Associated Press report, the CIA has told senior Clinton administration officials that the prospect of retaliation against Americans overseas is "very, very high."

Asked yesterday whether there were "imminent threats" to American embassies or military bases prior to the cruise missile strikes, Defense Secretary William Cohen replied, "The answer's yes," and noted that the threats were "more directed toward our embassies."

The State Department yesterday issued a "worldwide caution" urging all Americans abroad to "review their security practices" and "remain alert to the changing situation."

"Large crowds and other situations in which anti-American sentiments may be expressed should be avoided," the department warned. "U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide are taking appropriate security precautions."

Non-emergency personnel and family members of employees of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have been authorized to leave those countries. In Albania, Eritrea and Pakistan, family members and non-emergency personnel have been ordered to depart. U.S. officials said all military installations in the Persian Gulf area had stepped up efforts to protect themselves against attack.

The General Services Administration issued an alert to security personnel across the country to heighten security and awareness at all federal facilities. This will include stepped-up patrols at buildings and increased visibility of security officers. "Everyone is just supposed to be more alert," said GSA spokesperson Eleni Martin.

The FBI has issued an alert to local law enforcement officials nationwide to be on the lookout for possible terrorist activity.

In Washington, local police went on alert for possible attacks on federal offices. Terrance W. Gainer, executive assistant chief of police for the District of Columbia, told The Washington Post that the police department had "increased security around our own buildings" and was providing additional support to "embassy and office areas where foreign nationals might be."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.