11:28 AM:Morning commuters said they reacted to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death with happiness, but some are worried about the possibility of retribution in the Bay Area and nationwide.
Letitia Moore, who took BART to San Francisco from the East Bay this morning, said she is concerned.
“This may be good news, but it doesn’t end terror,” she said.
On her BART ride into San Francisco, Moore said she noticed the presence of BART police officers but said things weren’t too different from an ordinary morning commute.
Robert Blaisdell, a resident of San Francisco’s South of Market District and a student at the Art Institute of California, said he was very happy when he saw the news on Facebook Sunday night.
“It symbolizes some type of victory,” he said. “It’s symbolic of justice.”
San Bruno resident Elizabeth Caceres, 76, said she was excited to hear that bin Laden had been killed,”I was like, ‘Wow, thank God’,” she said.
Caceres said she is not usually one to celebrate death, but that she was especially glad to learn of bin Laden’s demise because her daughter had been living near the World Trade Center in New York during the Sept. 11 attack.
Caceres said she felt nervous riding BART this morning because of the chance of retribution.
Despite her nerves, Caceres said she has to just keep living. “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen,” she said.
BART has increased security and is on a high-risk alert today. All available BART police officers are being used to provide maximum security for riders, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.
BART’s police department canceled scheduled training sessions today in order to make more officers accessible, Johnson said.
There is no specific time frame for how long the extra security will be in place, but Johnson said extra officers will be out “for as long as it takes to feel comfortable.”
SashaLekach/RachelPurdy, Bay City News
6:07 AM: BART stations have increased security and are on a high-risk alert today as a precaution against retaliation attacks following the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on Sunday, a BART spokesman said.
All available BART police officers will be used in order to provide maximum security for transit riders, spokesman Linton Johnson said.
BART’s police department cancelled scheduled training sessions today in order to make more officers accessible, Johnson said.
The decision to step up security measures comes from a federal order for transit agencies, train stations and airports with the ability to provide increased security today do so, he said.
“We have that availability,” Johnson said.
The Critical Asset Patrol Team, established earlier this year, will have a large presence today, he said.
The team specializes in counter-terrorism and will be a useful asset for identifying any threats, Johnson said.
There is no specific timeframe for how long the increase of security will last.
“(The increase will be in effect) for as long as it takes to feel comfortable,” Johnson said.
Rachel Purdy, Bay City News