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US steps up security after Paris attacks

By Lalit K Jha
November 14, 2015 11:16 IST
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The United States enhanced security at airports, train stations and other public places across the country after a series of attacks targeting young concert-goers at popular nightspots in Paris killed over 150 people.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are closely monitoring the events in Paris and are in contact with their counterparts in the region, homeland security secretary Jeh C Johnson said.

“As we do regularly, and out of an abundance of caution, DHS and the FBI are consulting with state and local law enforcement,” Johnson said.

“We are also in communication with relevant private sector organisations to advise them of what we know and to hear from them about security precautions they may take,” he said.

He, however, said that there was no credible threat of a terrorist attack in the US.

“At this time, we know of no specific or credible threats of an attack on the US homeland of the type that occurred in Paris tonight,” Johnson said in a statement late on Friday night.

Noting that the attacks in Paris are not just attacks on the people of France, but attacks on all of humanity and the universal values, he said, “We stand together with the French people in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said, “This evening’s horrific and barbaric attacks in Paris were more than an attack on the nation or people of France. They were an assault on our common human dignity,” he said.

“As North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, as leaders of the counter-Islamic State coalition, as nations working shoulder to shoulder from West Africa to the Indian Ocean, the United States and France will only strengthen our resolve,” Carter said.

Statements of condemnation continued pouring in from across the US.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said that the US must stand side-by-side every step of the way with France and its allies around the world to wage and win the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism.

“Even in this darkest night, Paris remains the City of Light. No terrorist attack will ever dim the spirit of the French people or our common commitment to the democratic values we share,” Clinton said.

Indian-American California Attorney General Kamala Harris said, “Today, let us rededicate ourselves to the global fight against those who terrorise innocent civilians and attempt to undermine our values.”

Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “Tonight is another tragic reminder that the people of France stand on the front lines in the fight against a dangerous and growing jihadist ideology that knows no bounds.”

Image: Police keep guard outside of the French consulate in Manhattan following an attack on civilians in Paris. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Lalit K Jha
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