Date
20 November 2017
People enter the subway station as LA county sheriff's deputies stand guard outside the Universal City Metro station. Photo: Reuters
People enter the subway station as LA county sheriff's deputies stand guard outside the Universal City Metro station. Photo: Reuters

Los Angeles heightens security after threat to metro system

Heavy security at subway stations in Los Angeles greeted commuters on Tuesday as federal and local authorities investigated a specific but uncorroborated threat to detonate a bomb at the Metro Red Line’s Universal City station, Reuters reports.

Local media broadcast footage of gun-toting deputies searching passengers’ bags while bomb squads led bomb-sniffing dogs around stations across the Los Angeles County transit system.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who boarded a train at the Universal City station himself on Tuesday, said law enforcement was prepared and asked the public to be vigilant.

“I trust the professionals that are dealing with this,” Garcetti told Reuters TV.

“You can never erase the threat to zero, but I want to make sure that people know we have a system that can and will respond forcefully whenever there are these threats.”

Federal and city officials said on Monday they had been alerted by authorities in another country to a “specific” threat against the city’s Red Line commuter rail system, prompting them to beef up security and alert the public.

“This threat is imminent … it is very specific,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told an evening news conference on Monday. “But the credibility still needs to be vetted.”

Law enforcement officials said the threat had been relayed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by a law enforcement agency in another country, where the threat had originated. Officials did not identify the country.

The male caller, speaking in English, had warned authorities in that country of a potential attack on Tuesday targeting the Red Line station, Beck said.

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