Security heightened in LA, LAX due to Brussels attacks

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Police at Los Angeles International Airport and throughout the city are ramping up security measures following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday. (KABC)

Police at Los Angeles International Airport are increasing security measures following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.

Airport police said there are no specific threats to LAX. However, authorities said they've increased the presence of airport police officers and K-9 units at vehicle checkpoints.

Uniformed patrol units and bomb-sniffing dogs have been stationed at all terminals.

Police also said they will continue to monitor the situation in Brussels and make adjustments to security as necessary, but officials emphasized that there has been no impact to normal airport operations.

PHOTOS: Explosions rock Brussels, killing dozens

"No flights have been canceled, there's no delays in the flights. It's just a routine day with plenty of uniformed personnel in the public access areas," said Capt. Fernando Castro with LAX police.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles is a well prepared city with solid safety protocols in place.

"This is a city that somebody should think twice before attacking," the mayor said.

David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI's L.A. office, said the agency is working closely with foreign and domestic partners to make sure there are no U.S.-based connections to the Brussels attacks.

"If we do, we will be relentless in our pursuit of those individuals," Bowdich said.

In terms of safety in Los Angeles, Bowdich said the FBI is working with multiple agencies to ensure the safety of the city's vast transportation sectors.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said his department has been in close contact with the various law enforcement agencies guarding the city and ports.

"We want to have a high visibility. We want to make sure that our critical infrastructure is safe and we want to make sure that specific targets have police coverage," Beck said.

The chief underlined the significance of the public's role in keeping the city safe and reinforced the mantra, "If you see something, say something."

Beck also stressed the importance of cross-cultural acceptance.

"That sense of inclusion is what keeps people from being radicalized," he said. "It's what keeps people from going to the dark side. This is very much a battle between good and evil and it's the good in America that keeps us safe."

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell spoke to Eyewitness News about Southern California's preparedness for a potential terror attack and also stressed that it is members of the public that can help authorities protect communities from terrorism.
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L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell speaks to Eyewitness News about Southern California's preparation for terror attacks.

Although flights from LAX to other European destinations were not affected, some passengers flying overseas expressed concerns over the attacks.

"I've just got no words for it, isn't it? It's unnecessary, it's evil," said Ted Taylor, a passenger traveling from LAX to London.

Lorenzo Garcia and his wife returned to the Southland Tuesday morning from traveling abroad morning and learned of the attacks.

"It seems to me that it doesn't matter how much security they install. When you see things like this, it just doesn't seem to be working," Garcia said.

There was some increased traffic at the airport, likely due to the increased security at vehicle checkpoints. Travelers were advised to leave plenty of time in case of such delays.

Congresswoman Janice Hahn released a statement, calling on the TSA to expand its security parameters at U.S. airports, saying that airports remain a prime target for terrorism and that we must reconsider our current security protocol.

As for metro security, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News that we can expect to see increased law enforcement presence on transit and rail systems in major cities across the country.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks at the Brussels airport and one of the city's metro stations.

At least 31 people were killed in the explosions and at least 250 were injured, including three Mormon missionaries from Utah and six other Americans.

Related Topics:
terrorismterror threatu.s. & worldexplosionbrussels attacksairport securitysecuritysafetyLos Angeles
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