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Security tightened after U.S. strikes

Rudy Giuliani
Giuliani says New York put more security personnel at places "sensitive to attack."  


NEW YORK (CNN) -- The FBI urged law enforcement agencies across the country Sunday to move to their highest state of alert following the joint U.S.-British attacks on Taliban forces in Afghanistan earlier in the day.

The FBI issued its alert in a bulletin that urged police departments to be prepared to respond to any act of terrorism or violence.

The warning, sent through the agency's National Threat Warning System, was precautionary and not issued in response to any specific threat.

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Sunday the city stationed more police officers and security personnel at places "sensitive to attack."

Giuliani would not provide specifics. He said security would be higher but not quite as intense as it was in the days immediately after the September 11 coordinated hijacking attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and killed thousands.

Greater measures can be taken on short notice if necessary, said Giuliani, who urged the public not to assume the worst if that happens.

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The morning rush-hour ban on single-occupant vehicles entering the city will stay in place and urged people to use public transportation whenever possible, Giuliani said.

In Washington, where a hijacked jet crashed into the Pentagon, police opened a joint command and control center to coordinate activities. A police spokesman said the center's opening was a precaution, and that they had received no specific or credible threats requiring action.

"The chief says we're at the same level we've been at," said Sgt. Joe Gentile, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Police Department.

U.S. Capitol Police officials, responsible for protecting the Capitol and congressional office buildings, also said they had beefed up protection as a precaution. They declined to elaborate, citing security concerns.

Most government buildings were closed Sunday and would remain closed Monday -- Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

The Capitol would reopen Tuesday morning as scheduled, said Capitol Police Lt. Dan Nichols.

"The parks are wide open and we're encouraging the public to come to the parks," said Lt. Philip Beck of the U.S. Park Police, which protects many of Washington's tourist attractions. "Obviously, we're at a heightened vigilance as to what has happened."

A Secret Service official said his agency would maintain the same heightened state of security it has kept since the attacks.

"Of course there will always be some expansion of security and contraction of security as information is developed, but basically security has been the same since the 11th," Secret Service spokesman Brian Marr said.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been put on a heightened state of alert to protect more than 300 ports and 88,000 miles of coastline.

Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, commander of the Coast Guard's Atlantic area, which covers the coast from Maine to Texas, ordered operational commanders to "take all necessary steps to ensure the continued safety and security of our nation's ports, waterways and coastline."

Mayor Martin O'Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, said his city is on a heightened state of alert as a result of U.S. strikes in Afghanistan.

Security has been stepped up around railroads, tunnels, bridges, water supply facilities, mosques, synagogues and important industrial sites, O'Malley said. In addition, the city's emergency operation center has again been activated, he said.

Baltimore officials had been planning for weeks how they would respond when American military action began, O'Malley said. All Baltimore police district commanders had been called in to work, and the city's cabinet had been put on call, he said.

Near Gaithersburg, Maryland, northwest of Washington, two Ryder trucks were stopped on Highway 270 Sunday afternoon.

The highway was closed as authorities and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the truck. Nothing suspicious was found. The highway was reopened and the men were to be let go.

A dispatcher for the Gaithersburg Police Department said Maryland State Police stopped the two trucks as a precaution in light of heightened security nationwide.

In Philadelphia, police moved to provide additional security to high-rise and high profile buildings. In Los Angeles, police were put on tactical alert.

In California, state officials instituted patrols around electrical and water facilities. Troopers with the California Highway Patrol were also put on 12-hour shifts.

-- CNN Correspondent Jeanne Meserve and CNN Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.






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