Terror Response "Pretty High": Chief

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    NEWSLETTERS

    You can expect increased security on roads, airports, and rail stations across the Capital region after the killing of Osama bin Laden. (Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011)

    D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said on WTOP radio Thursday morning that the likelihood of terrorist retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden is "pretty high."

    "I think that anyone who knows anything about terrorism realizes that the potential right now for a couple of scenarios is pretty high," Lanier said. "Obviously any kind of retaliation from al-Qaida or al-Qaida affiliates is pretty good. And I think also that there is potential for lone-wolf, domestic, radicalized individuals also to use this as an opportunity."

    No official Homeland Security alert levels have been raised, so should the District be alarmed by Lanier's choice of words?

    Lanier told NBC Washington's Tom Sherwood Thursday afternoon that the alert is "serious" in the wake of bin Laden's death, but is "no different" from previous alerts following significant incidents involving terrorism.

    She emphasized that any group or any individual -- whether radical or mentally disturbed -- may be inspired to act during these heightened times.

    She confirmed, without providing details, that much of the security alert is "unseen" by the public and is "random" so as not to tip off the response.

    Metro and Capitol police stepped up their security as a precaution following bin Laden's death, but Lanier told WTOP that D.C. Police did not see the kind of uptick in suspicious activity calls from the public that she expected.