(Host) The FBI has issued an alert to local law enforcement officials, warning that the July 4 holiday could be a time when terrorist groups might plan an attack. Vermont officials say they’re not planning any extra measures, but they’re not taking the alert lightly either.
VPR’s Steve Zind reports.
(Zind) The FBI alert was issued to law enforcement agencies around the country, but not to the public. The agency said it has no specific information pointing to an attack, but feels that increased vigilance is advisable because this is the first Independence Day since September 11.
In Vermont, a spokeswoman with the Homeland Security Unit of the State Police says people should be vigilant but not unnecessarily concerned. She says State Police aren’t planning any increased activity over the holiday, nor have they issued any advisories to those organizing July 4 events around the state. Kate O’Connor is the Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs:
(O’Connor) “I’m sure New York City is approaching it differently than we are. They have to. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not doing it right.”
(Zind) O’Connor says law enforcement in Vermont has remained on heightened alert since September 11. She says state officials take all alerts seriously:
(O’Connor) “We have no way to know where or when a terrorist is going to strike and I don’t think we should take the attitude that we’re a small little state, no one’s ever going to get us. That’s not the attitude we’re taking on a state level.”
(Zind) O’Connor says it’s important that people be able to enjoy holidays like July 4 while at the same time being mindful of the potential dangers of the post-September 11 world.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.