Academy, Airport Watch For Threats

January 16, 1991|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

At the gates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, guards randomly searched vehicles and checked the IDs of everyone who entered.

At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Maryland State Police steppedup patrols and kept a wary watch for suspicious-looking people, packages or luggage.

Across Anne Arundel's border, at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Calvert County, workers were put on notice to report any suspicious activities and to grill anyone in their work area they don'tknow.

As the specter of war loomed in the Persian Gulf yesterday,officials in Anne Arundel County and throughout Maryland took steps to prevent possible -- though, according to authorities, unlikely -- terrorist attacks.

The preventive measures and heightened securitygrew out of warnings from the FBI and the state department that a U.S. attack of Iraq could trigger a wave of worldwide terrorism.

At BWI, state police boosted patrols by an undisclosed number in response to a request by the Maryland Aviation Administration. If the Federal Aviation Administration directs them to do so, airport managers will take additional steps, such as restricting traffic or movements of passengers and visitors, said Carol Riley, spokeswoman for the MAA.

Loudspeaker announcements in the airport warned passengers not to leave vehicles or luggage unattended.

The Naval Academy began its heightened security measures this week. The precautions are similar tothose at other Department of Defense commands in the Baltimore/Washington area, said Lt. Roxie Thomsen, Naval Academy spokeswoman.

At the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Cmdr. Ken Knutson, manager of military support operations, said the post is using "common sense to increase the security capability."

Declining to elaborate, he said only, "You keep your eyes open."

At other military installations in the county, such as Fort Meade and the National Security Agency,officials would not discuss security measures or say whether security had been tightened.

Maryland State Police spokesman Chuck Jackson, declining to disclose any security arrangements, would say only, "we are keeping an open dialogue with local, federal and state law enforcement agencies. We've received nothing to indicate any immediate danger or threat to anyone who visits the airport or other facilities."

While state police would handle safety in the event of any terrorist attacks, the county's Office of Emergency Management would be charged with such duties as restoring electric power.

Director Primus W. Richardson has arranged a meeting between county agencies and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. later this week to discuss the company'semergency procedures in cases of power cutoffs.

The emergency office also coordinates the county's response to accidents or leaks at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant, 20 miles from Anne Arundel's border.The plant has heightened security against possible terrorist attacks.

While state workers won't see any new security measures at government buildings, "The governor has asked his staff for an increased sense of awareness (of the threat of terrorism)," said press secretary Paul Schurick.

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