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Osama bin Laden's death: LAPD will beef up security at Lakers playoff games, other potential terrorism targets, Chief Charlie Beck says

May 2, 2011 |  6:34 am

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said his department plans to beef up police patrols at potential terrorism targets -- such as Staples Center during upcoming Lakers playoff games -- in the wake of the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"We are doing everything within our ability to make sure people are as safe as they can be," Beck said in an interview with The Times.
In addition to adding more officers to major events such as the NBA playoffs, the chief said officers are making increased checks on "high-profile targets" in the city.
LAPD counter-terrorism officials are scheduled to talk with federal authorities Monday to discuss further measures that may be taken, Beck said.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa echoed the call of Beck, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other law enforcement officials for residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activities.
"We must continue to be vigilant and remain on guard against those that still seek to harm us," the mayor said in a statement Sunday. "Although we will never forget the tragic events of 9/11, tonight we recognize this significant milestone in the healing process of our nation and we thank all those across the country and around the world who are hard at work to keep us safe."

LAPD Deputy Chief Mike Downing, commanding officer of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, said the LAPD has already begun patrols at some possible terrorism targets, including religious institutions.

Photo gallery: Reactions to Osama bin Laden's death

"We are somewhat concerned about any retaliation because of his [Bin Laden's] death," Downing said. "But with our partnerships and relationships that we've built over the last four or five years, we will stand with these communities to resist any attacks or hate incidents."

He urged anyone who sees unusual activity to contact the LAPD through iwatchla.org or through the (877) A-THREAT tip line.

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates Los Angeles International, Ontario International and Van Nuys airports, said all of the facilities were on heightened alert.

"We have our antenna out higher than normal," she said.

Lindsey would not elaborate on security measures or detail what types of new patrols might be used at LAX.

Baca has also said his department is on heightened alert and urged residents to be watchful for suspicious activity.


Some worry about retaliatory attacks

Osama bin Laden's death: "This snake has a lot of heads"

Osama bin Laden dead: "End of a dark era in U.S.-Muslim relations"

-- Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Airport police patrol the area outside Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday morning. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times