Authorities in Los Angeles have increased security on the city’s Metro rail system after receiving a report of a planned attack on a subway station.
FBI Assistant Director Deirdre Fike told a news conference Monday that a man reported the threat in an anonymous phone call to a public safety tipiline from a foreign country. Authorities in that country later notified the bureau’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The caller was very specific, telling authorities the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Universal City station was the intended target.
Police authorities told the public to expect increased presence of uniformed law enforcement officers. K-9 units will also be searching for explosives.
“This could be real, it could be a hoax,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told reporters.
Numerous sheriff’s deputies with police dogs could be seen patrolling the Universal City station this morning. McDonnell said that uniformed and undercover deputies would patrol the transit system Tuesday.
The station is adjacent to the Universal Studios theme park, an area that is filled with restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainment activities and often crowded.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people to carry on with their normal activities, but expect to see increased security. Garcetti said he himself will ride the subway line.
We are asking the public to take the same regular precautions you normally take. Remain calm but vigilant. We will have increased presence. pic.twitter.com/ANEiayW6Df
— Jim McDonnell (@LACoSheriff) December 6, 2016
Last year, a phoned-in threat against Los Angeles schools prompted the school district to cancel classes for the day. Officials later determined the threat was not credible, and some accused the district of overreacting to a hoax.