No credible threat found in online posting that shows terrorist figure in front of ‘exploding’ downtown office tower, LAPD says
Los Angeles police are investigating a posting on social media this week that shows a camouflage-clad figure wearing a vest packed with explosives and standing menacingly in front of a Photoshopped explosion at the top of a downtown office tower.
Above the terrorist’s head is this warning: “Our promise will soon be fulfilled.”
The LAPD on Saturday tweeted that it is aware of the posting but has “not been able to find any credible threat against buildings in our city.”
“Nevertheless, we are taking this very seriously,” police said, “and are working with our federal partners to coordinate any information that will lead to the source of the post.”
As a precaution, officials say they have boosted security dramatically in areas they consider vulnerable to truck and car bombs that could be detonated next to crowded terminals and sidewalks.
But the threat portrayed in the posting did not rise to the level of credibility that justified a public warning over the Presidents Day weekend.
“As always, we encourage every Angeleno to heighten their awareness,” police advised in a tweet. “And if you see something, say something. Report it to iWatchLA.org or call 1-877-ATHREAT.”
Protecting “soft targets” has long been an issue in Los Angeles. For years experts have expressed special concern about the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Hollywood studios and bridges, as well as Los Angeles International Airport.
In 1980, a homemade explosive was set off at the China Airlines counter at LAX. It caused damage, but no one was hurt.
In 1999, there was a plot to blow up LAX at the start of the millennium.
In 2002, a classified report warned that a merchant ship with 40 Al Qaeda terrorists hidden onboard was believed steaming toward Southern California. Their plan: Unload near Santa Catalina Island and then strike downtown Los Angeles.
After several weeks of searching, the FBI was unable to substantiate the intelligence information it had received. Nonetheless, Catalina Island officials and merchants struggled to reduce the impact of the intelligence tip on tourism.
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