The Department of Homeland Security is increasing security in some federal buildings across the country in response to heightened terror threats and recent attacks in Canada.
“Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of U.S. government installations and our personnel,” DHS secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.
“We are taking this action as a precautionary step, to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities,” Johnson said. “The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently.”
Johnson urged state and local governments to be on the alert against “small-scale attacks by a lone offender or a small group of individuals.” Canada and the U.S. have seen several such attacks over the past week.
Canada suffered two terror attacks last week, one in Quebec and one in the federal building in Ottawa, in which two Canadian soldiers were killed. In the second attack, shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibau, described by Canadian authorities as a homegrown radical and Muslim convert, shot several people in Canadian parliament, while Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the building. (RELATED: Canadian Journalist: Shooting ‘Obviously Inspired By Radical Ideology,’ Likely ISIS)
The New York Police Department commissioner William Bratton also declared an attack on several police officers last week to be a terror attack by a homegrown terrorist and Muslim convert. The suspect, Zale Thompson, allegedly attacked four rookie police officers with a hatchet, before being killed by police. (RELATED: Crazed Man Attacks NYPD With Hatchet)