Security Remains in High Alert for Terror Threat

Across the District every local and federal law enforcement agency remains in high alert.

Every sworn officer for the Metropolitan Police department will be working 12 hour shifts this weekend.

Reports of suspicious activity and vehicles in the nation's capital are up 60 percent in the wake of an investigation of a terror threat, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Saturday, and police are checking every report.

For days, counterterrorism officials have been chasing a tip that al-Qaida may have sent three men to the United States to detonate a car bomb. Senior U.S. officials said there's no evidence that al-Qaida has sneaked any terrorists into the country for a strike coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss the investigation.

Police and FBI agents remain on high alert as investigators look for proof of a plot against Washington or New York. By Saturday, there was still no intelligence backing that up and officials continued to question the validity of the initial information.
Police in the Washington region issued a lookout Saturday for two U-Haul vans that were stolen in Prince George's County. U-Haul said late Saturday that one of the vans had been recovered. County police said there's nothing about the situation that leads them to believe they were anything other than stolen vans, but in light of recent terror threats they are taking extra precautions.

Police and airport officials determined that there was nothing harmful about suspicious boxes on a cargo pallet that prompted a four-hour evacuation of several gates at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Rob Yingling.  Virginia State Police bomb technicians X-rayed the cargo pallet and a second detection dog sweep determined the boxes were safe, he said. Two outbound flights were delayed because the aircraft were within the perimeter. Officials are being extra vigilant in light
of recent terror threats, and taking all precautions if something out of the ordinary is discovered, Yingling said.

Checkpoints set up around Washington continue to sweep vehicles on Sunday morning.  Law enforcement has also been keeping a close eye on incoming foreign visitors and tracking sales of chemicals that could be used to construct an explosive device.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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