July 7, 2005

New York, Washington beef up transport security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington and New York beefed up
security checks on their public transport systems and urged
commuters to exercise extra vigilance on Thursday after a
series of explosions rocked London's subway and bus system.

"In response to events in London, the Metro transit police
will increase their presence in and around the Metro transit
system. We ask customers to please be alert and report any
unusual activity or suspicious packages," the Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said on its Web site.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it had no
indication an attack similar to the London blasts was planned
in the United States and had no immediate plan to raise its
terrorism threat level, a spokeswoman said.

The explosions in London's transport system early on
Thursday killed several people and wounded scores. Prime
Minister Tony Blair called the blasts an apparent terror attack
coinciding with a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in

Fire and police spokesmen in New York, where twin hijacked
plane attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people,
said there had been no additional security ordered or any
unusual incidents reported.

"We're reminding people not to leave unattended packages.
... We're also checking our trains before they leave the yards,
before they leave the terminals, as we always do," said Paul
Fleuranges, spokesman for New York City Transit.

"I think we're being extra vigilant today, we're always
vigilant but there's a heightened sense of awareness after this
morning's events," he said.

"The subway system is always on heightened security alert
so we're just double checking our trains," said a second
spokesman at New York City Transit, which operates subway, bus
and some rail services in the city.