One of the major reasons why law enforcement officials are taking no chances is because of intelligence gleaned from computers and notebooks found in the Pakistan compound where Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces on May 2.
“When you see how fixated Osama bin Laden was on the 10th anniversary, it makes sense to have extra precautions during significant dates and events,” says Mr. Cilluffo.
On Sunday, President Obama plans to visit each of the sites hit on Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Shanksville, Pa., where hijacked flight 93 crashed. The White House says the potential security threat will not change his schedule.
Both New York and Washington have wide experience with ramping up for potential security threats.
“Every year there is an anniversary, that’s the time when you would think that we should heighten our security, and we do,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at a briefing Thursday evening. “The risks are greater then, we imagine, but nobody is really sure.”
In the past during heightened security levels, the NYPD has set up roadblocks outside the city’s bridges and tunnels and pulled over trucks, vans and other vehicles. On Friday, they started those efforts again, pulling over vehicles.
In New York’s hot and steamy subway stops, police set up tables to search backpacks. Underneath Grand Central Station, four police officers eyed travelers as they entered the subway. Travelers using Amtrak reported an increased number of police and canine units as well.