Agencies, employees on alert for terrorist attacks

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.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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