Americans have been urged to proceed as normal despite word of "credible" terror threats circulatIing in the news since late Thursday afternoon. The question remains whether Americans will continue with their plans to honor 9/11 victims amid the threat of a possible terrorist attack.
Yesterday, U.S. officials announced a potential terror threat from al-Qaida militants. According to reports, three men (one of whom may be a U.S. citizen) entered the United States in mid-August from Pakistan. They may or may not have something to do with a reported threat of vehicle bombs.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement stating that the threats come from "specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information."
In addition to the threats, documents uncovered from the raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani home shows that al-Qaida has an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11's 10-year anniversary.
The news is alarming given that planned memorials in New York City and Washington, D.C.
The Washington National Cathedral is hosting an array of events Friday, Saturday and Sunday – the actual anniversary of the terrorist attack – at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Big names, including President Barack Obama, are expected to be on hand for Sunday's "Call to Compassion" ceremony.
Ari Geller, representative for the Cathedral, said, "Obviously safety and security is always everyones top priority." In light of the anniversary and the threats timed to the date, he anticipates security will be heightened for the three days of events.
A Kennedy Center spokesman said he could not comment of its security procedures. However, District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier told The Associated Press that officers would be working 12-hour shifts over the weekend, as well as "maintaining a certain sense of unpredictability" to ensure public safety this weekend.
Metro Transit Police in Washington and its neighboring suburbs are also expected to have additional patrols and K-9 units
A New York Police Department spokesperson told The Christian Post they could not discuss specific details of NYPD's weekend security, but said there would be an abundant number of police officers on hand throughout the weekend. Additionally, news reports said New York' finest will create a zone around the World Trade Center site for its Sunday observance, with hundreds of surveillance cameras monitoring the site.
CP contacted organizers of the 9/11 ceremony for victims and their families about the number of people expected to attend the memorial, and about possible security concerns. They declined to comment.
As to the District of Columbia, its Emergency Management Agency is urging observers to stay aware of their surroundings, and to report people acting strangely, unusual behavior, and/or unattended packages. Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security reminds Americans to remain vigilant as they head into the weekend.