After bin Laden's death, travelers asked to be vigilant

4:47 PM, May 2, 2011   |    comments
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The alert urges citizens to limit travel outside homes and avoid mass gatherings while traveling abroad.

The Transportation Security Administration says it doesn't intend to issue a travel alert or raise the terror-threat level domestically, at least for right now.

TSA says those alerts really are only issued in response to specific intelligence. However, as always, they ask those traveling to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.

"There's someone sitting out there right now, some place, who is thinking about doing something, and this may have just galvanized him or her to action," Jeffrey Price, an aviation security expert and professor at Metro State College, told 9NEWS Monday.

Now that the No. 1 man on America's Most Wanted List is dead, many are now fearful of retaliation. Price says in response to this fear, people may notice stepped up security, at least at first.

"You're going to see probably more random screening. You're probably going to see more law enforcement patrols, more K-9 patrols," he said.

Just because the terror-threat level hasn't been raised doesn't mean security won't be ramped up. While plotting terrorists might not be able to pull off something of catastrophic proportion immediately, Price says there is fear of more unsophisticated attacks. In fact, price says that's the reason for a world travel alert.

"Large scale attacks don't happen with a two-month planning cycle," he said. "One of the things that will occur after an incident like this, is you'll have a lot of low-level operatives that can do embassy bombings, hostage taking of American tourists abroad."

As for as acts without a lot of planning, Price says terrorists look for soft targets, and he says the Mile High City is not immune.

"I think one; it's a strike to the heartland. I think two, the kind of western mentality, it's very much a kind of, 'I'm doing my own thing, leave me alone.' So, [terrorists] can operate with a certain amount of anonymity," Price said. "They're going to go to the softest target they can find. That could be a shopping mall; that could be the 16th Street Mall. They're going to somewhere they can hit, and hit easy."

"As far as the threat level goes-they wanted to kill us a week ago and they still want to kill us today. It doesn't get any higher than that," Michael Boyd, another aviation expert, said.

Price says to remember the goal of terrorism, like the name implies, is to instill terror. He says it's incredibly important that citizens stay cautious without acting paranoid.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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