- (Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Federal and local law enforcement officials were out in massive numbers over the weekend for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Thousands of police officers, including divers, bomb technicians and counter-snipers, national guardsmen, and F.B.I. intelligence analysts were part of the defense portfolio for 9/11 Sunday.
President Obama, as well as former President W. Bush and other dignitaries were present at the site in New York where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed, and where a new memorial was unveiled.
Security measures included the setting up of verification checkpoints at all major bridges and tunnels in and out of Manhattan, while police and boats patrolled the waterways around Manhattan. Armed officers were at the city`s busiest transportation hubs, such as Grand Central Station and Pennsylvania Station.
Helicopters and military combat aircraft also patrolled the skies above New York and Washington.
According to an officer, who was working in Lower Manhattan at a random checkpoint, the security mission has become almost routine following numerous threats over the past 10 years.
“We`ve done this before,” the officer said.
The north end of the World Trade Center was patrolled by a team of bomb squad officers with a German shepherd and two Labrador retrievers. Messages were warning vehicles near City Hall: “Avoid Downtown.”
A few blocks away, thousands of people joined hands in an effort called “Hand in Hand” along a walkway lining the Hudson River, organized by Community Board 1.
The tension over the weekend was also heightened when in Jersey City a Budget rental van with Oklahoma license plates was stolen. The reports said that the thieves cut lines to the phone and alarm systems.
Two dark-colored vans that were stolen earlier this month with expensive tools were also investigated. The vans were from a construction company contracted to carry out road works on the West Side Highway, near Ground Zero.
On Monday, in the aftermath of the 9/11 memorial events, top officials have reported that they are continuing to analyze all information and leads, and that the threat of a terrorist attack remains the same.