Minnesota Airport Security Tightens After London Explosions

At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, police officers made themselves more visible.


Security was tightened at transportation hubs around the Twin Cities on Thursday after four explosions rocked the London subway and ripped open a double-decker bus, killing or wounding hundreds of people.

''At this point, there's doesn't seem to be a credible threat targeting Minnesota or the U.S.,'' said state Department of Public Safety spokesman Kevin Smith.

He said state security officials got a briefing Thursday morning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during a conference call.

''The best thing that we can do in a situation like this is to get good intelligence so we can make prudent decisions about what to do,'' Smith said.

At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, police officers made themselves more visible as a result of the London bombings, said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. He said staffing had not increased.

Airport operations have not been affected and no flights had been canceled, he said.

''We don't expect this to have any impact on flights at Minneapolis. Everything should be business as usual in that sense. So (there will) be just a lot more security presence and a lot more vigilance on the part of I think everybody at the airport, including of course the airport police,'' he said.

Hogan urged airport travelers to call 911 if they see unattended bags or people acting suspiciously. Random vehicle checks were a possibility if federal officials increased the nation's terror alert rating to orange for airports.

The Twin Cities airport is a major hub for Northwest Airlines. Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said the bombings had no affect on the airline's two daily flights between Detroit and the Twin Cities to and from London's Gatwick Airport.

Both U.S.-bound flights took off on schedule from Gatwick Thursday. As of midmorning, both London-bound flights Thursday night were scheduled to depart on time.

Julie Johanson, assistant general manager of administration for Metro Transit, said security was up on Twin Cities area buses and the light rail system, but schedules would not be affected.

Drivers were asked to be more aware when they do their routine pre-trip inspections and to watch for packages left on buses and trains.

''We're not worried,'' Johanson said. ''We have a security plan in place, but we all have a heightened awareness today.''

Metro Transit also will have extra officers on patrol as well as two bomb-sniffing dog. Platforms will be more frequently patrolled, she said.

Smith said the Mall of America will increase security at its light rail stop, with the assistance of the Bloomington Police Department.

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