As people welcome in 2019 from New Zealand to Hawaii, security personnel are dealing with an array of terror threats, some of which were foiled in the days leading up to New Year.
Across the United States law enforcement and federal officers are on the lookout for potential terror operatives as millions ready to take to the streets of the country’s largest cities. For the first time, drones will back up some 7,000 officers as an estimated two million people head for Times Square in New York.
Police snipers, K9 teams and officer strike units hope they will keep revelers safe in Las Vegas. Chicago’s police department is promising cops on every street corner:
Overseas, the anti-terrorism community has had some successes in the run up to the New Year, most notably in Karachi, Pakistan. Security forces arrested five people December 29. They discovered an explosive-laden motorcycle replete with hand grenades and other weapons.
U.S. consular offices in numerous places around the world issued particular warnings for New Year’s eve. In Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the embassy warned American citizens:
“to exercise special vigilance during the New Year holiday. As a reminder, on July 29, terrorists targeted a group of Western tourists traveling in Tajikistan, killing four people including two American citizens. The U.S. Embassy therefore recommends the following actions:
• During New Year celebrations, exercise caution when visiting prominent restaurants, bars, hotels, and when attending public gatherings.
• Avoid conspicuous consumption of alcohol and public drunkenness.
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• Avoid large crowds.
• Keep a low profile.”
If you are concerned about your safety when traveling overseas, sign up to the State Department’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.