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Heavy security at LA metro stations after threat

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 06:50

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Police deployed heavily on Tuesday throughout the Los Angeles metro following a tip from overseas about an impending bomb attack against a busy station near the Universal Studios theme park.

[LOS ANGELES] Police deployed heavily on Tuesday throughout the Los Angeles metro following a tip from overseas about an impending bomb attack against a busy station near the Universal Studios theme park.

About a dozen officers, some in full tactical gear and accompanied by sniffer dogs, patrolled the Red Line's Universal City metro stop where an anonymous man warned that a bomb would go off on Tuesday.

The man, who spoke English, relayed the threat in a telephone call early Monday to a public safety line run by an unidentified foreign government, which then passed on the information to the FBI's terrorism task force.

Authorities said the caller did not make the threat himself but reported it.

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The imminent nature of the threat prompted authorities to hastily organise a news conference late Monday to relay the information to the public and announce that security was being stepped up.

An FBI spokeswoman said Tuesday that investigators were still working to determine the credibility of the threat, described as "very specific," and track down its origin.

In a bid to allay fears, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rode the metro from Universal City early Tuesday.

"One of the lessons from today is all of us can be the eyes and ears on this system and throughout the city," Mr Garcetti said, adding that the added security was out of "an abundance of caution."

Orange barriers were put up around the station as police randomly searched people's bags.

Some commuters appeared unnerved by the added patrols while others went on about their normal business.

Some 145,000 people use the two main lines of the Los Angeles metro, Garcetti said.

The Red Line connects North Hollywood with central and downtown Los Angeles.

Last year, an emailed threat forced the closure of Los Angeles schools for a day before it was determined to be a hoax.

AFP

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