Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rural areas that attract many tourists should be on alert for terrorist activity, suspicious behavior

While major cities are often the target of terrorist attacks, officials say rural areas, especially ones that attract large numbers of tourists, should be on the alert, report Cara Chapman of the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Joe Mahoney, state reporter for the paper's owner, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (Best Places map)

Craig DuMond, undersheriff of Delaware County, said "targets may include schools, electrical transmission lines, reservoirs that supply New York City with drinking water or anyplace where people gather, such as county fairs," Mahoney and Chapman write.

The federal government has labeled the area around Buffalo and Niagara as a "high threat target area," because the region, which includes Niagara Falls and the Peace Bridge, the most heavily traveled footbridge on the U.S./Canada border, draws millions of visitors per year, Mahoney and Chapman write. "The region is also home to key infrastructure, such as the Niagara Power Project, the hydroelectric power station above the falls."

David Rousseau, interim dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University at Albany, told reporters, "Violence and terrorism have occurred in lots of different rural areas of the U.S, and all jurisdictions have to be in a position to respond and try to prevent these incidents."

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