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FBI increases security for Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell  

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- The FBI has beefed up security around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's, Liberty Bell after receiving "unspecified information" of a possible attack against the American historic symbol, a spokeswoman for the agency said Thursday.

FBI Special Agent Linda Vizi said "we have increased security" with fencing and additional police presence, but she said that the site remains open to visitors.

"We received unspecified information that there could be a possible attack on the Liberty Bell. We notified the terrorism task force, Philadelphia police, and the (U.S.) Park Police."

She would not give details about the nature of the threat.

"The state of alert is already pretty high, and there's already a lot of manpower out there," she said.

The Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the making of the bell in 1751 to hang in the State House, and carries this inscription from the Bible -- "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof -- Lev. XXV, v. x. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania for the State House in Philada. "

The beginnings of the famous crack on the body of the bell were repaired in 1864 but it cracked again the same year, after it was rung for a George Washington birthday celebration. It has not been rung since.

"We're trying to determine the credibility of the threat, and we've notified state and local officials," Vizi said.

Calls to the National Park Service, which manages the site, were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department said no extra measures had been taken due to the threat.

According to a National Park Service Web site, the bell weighs about 2,000 pounds and is made up of 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin, and small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold, and silver.




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