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Calif. Raises Security After Threat

August 12, 2002

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ State and federal law enforcement agencies boosted security patrols on and around the Golden Gate Bridge after officials learned of a potential terrorist threat.

The bridge was placed on a ``super-heightened″ state of alert Sunday, said Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District.

She would not elaborate on the details of the threat or specify the information’s source. However, the bridge district board’s president, Harold C. Brown, told the Contra Costa Times the FBI was gauging the credibility of a threat that terrorists planned to crash an aircraft into the span.

Authorities advised Gov. Gray Davis of the threat on Saturday morning, said Steve Maviglio, the governor’s spokesman. Davis ``took appropriate action,″ Maviglio said. He would not elaborate.

While the military and law enforcement have patrolled the bridge for months, the nature of Sunday’s security boost hasn’t been seen since July, when Spanish authorities recovered a videotape of potential U.S. targets believed to have been filmed by members of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

The footage, filmed before the attacks, included shots of the bridge’s suspension anchors and also featured other American landmarks, including Disneyland, Chicago’s Sears Tower and New York’s Statue of Liberty.

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