Security Stepped Up at CA Airports for Y2K

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

Los Angeles ( - Despite continued warnings that terrorists may strike over the New Year's holiday, officials at Los Angeles International Airport said they expect the threat to have little effect on passenger traffic at LAX during the holiday weekend.

While not issuing any specific warnings the Federal Aviation Administration has called for stringent civil aviation security measures to be followed by airlines and airports nationwide.

LAX spokesman Thomas D. Winfrey told, "Travelers will notice increased police officers' visibility and law enforcement officers' vigilance throughout the airport."

For personal safety passengers and visitors to the airport should watch their bags at all times and report to authorities if they see any unattended bags, said Winfrey.

The increased security measures were put into effect earlier this month at LAX and airports throughout California following the arrest of Algerian national Ahmed Ressam in Port Angeles, Washington. Ressam was arrested on December 14 after crossing the Canadian border and was using false identification and carrying what authorities called 200 hundred pounds of "bomb making materials" in his car including nitroglycerin. Customs officials said alleged terrorist also had reservations for a hotel across the street from the Space Needle for New Year's Eve.

The heightened concern about a terrorist attack prompted Seattle Mayor Paul Schell to cancel most New Year's Eve celebrations around the Space Needle, on concerns that the event could be a target for terrorists. "We are comfortable that Seattle is not a target" said Schell, "but the FBI can't assure us that there is no risk."