D.C., N.Y. On Heightened Alert

Sep 9, 2011
Originally published on September 9, 2011 6:02 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston joins me now. Dina, what are you hearing?

DINA TEMPLE: This is the way Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it this morning in an interview with CNN. Let's listen.

HILLARY CLINTON: There is a specific, credible, but unconfirmed threat report. We take it seriously, as we always do.

BLOCK: And, Dina, you are in New York City. Why don't you tell us a bit more about the security measures that you've been seeing today.

TEMPLE: It looks really serious and scary in a way that seems a bit out of proportion to what we know so far about this intelligence report.

BLOCK: At least what reporters know. Of course, we don't know what else they may know in terms of specificity of time or place.

TEMPLE: Yes, exactly. And we're - I mean, we're talking to people who are in the intelligence community who know a lot about this. And what they've said about this particular tip is that they feel it has been blown a bit out of proportion in the media, that this is something that they're following up as they general do follow up these kinds of tips. But all this idea of there being suspects and, you know, possible rental trucks that are out there with bombs in them, we haven't been able to corroborate any of that.

BLOCK: And in terms of the law enforcement response now, how do they respond?

TEMPLE: So you put that all together with the fact that we're just days before the anniversary and you get the kind of response we've seen over the last day and a half.

BLOCK: And at the same time, the Department of Homeland Security, Dina, has not, yet at least, raised the terror alert level.

TEMPLE: Yes, and that's significant. You know, there's nothing wrong with stepping up security to make it harder for terrorists who want to attack. But generally what happens, if you have that security step up is you actually hear something from Homeland Security. And the fact that they haven't raised the terror alert level, and apparently don't intend to, that's significant.

BLOCK: Okay. Thank you, Dina.

TEMPLE: You're welcome.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Dina Temple-Raston in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.