No specific threat to Mass. in wake of Brussels attacks, authorities say

Published in The Boston Globe March 22, print

By: John R. Ellement and Mina Corpuz

Security was tightened at Logan Airport and on the public transit system in response to the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels Tuesday, although officials stressed there was no evidence of any specific threat to Massachusetts.

“We have no intelligence, credible or otherwise, which would suggest the MBTA is targeted,’’ said Richard Sullivan, superintendent of the MBTA Transit Police. “We have increased uniformed presence throughout the system.”
In a post on Twitter, Governor Charlie Baker sought to assure the public that state law enforcement agencies were on alert and working to analyze intelligence about the attacks and determine whether there could be any impact on the Boston area.

“While there has been no credible threat to [Massachusetts], security has been strengthened for our public transit systems and airports,’’ Baker wrote.

Baker wrote that he was “deeply saddened” by the attacks and extended condolences to the victims and their families.

“At this point we have no intelligence that suggests any nexus between today’s attacks and Massachusetts,’’ Procopio wrote in an e-mail. “We will continue to monitor developments and update the public accordingly.’’

State Police redeployed troopers to areas near “transportation centers’’ across the state, but law enforcement officials would not provide details of other changes to patrols.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies were sharing intelligence about the Brussels attacks, Procopio said.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said his department had boosted patrols near transportation hubs throughout the city and instructed all personnel to be “extremely vigilant.”

“There is no specific threat known to the City of Boston,” Evans said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the people of Brussels. We will keep those lost and injured and their families in our thoughts.’’

Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for Massport, which operates Logan Airport, said State Police were “out in force,” and urged the public to notify authorities if they see anything unusual.

At Logan, Amy Veilleux, 57, who was traveling to London for a vacation, said she was saddened by the attacks, and expected security at the airports in Europe to be tighter.

“I don’t personally feel that deciding to not travel or do something is going to help anything,” she said. “It’s not going to stop what’s going on.”

Thomas Hoang, 17, was flying to Paris en route to Vietnam, where he lives. Despite the recent attack, he wasn’t overly concerned about his safety.

“There’s a slight chance something like that could happen, but I don’t know if there’s a real risk,” he said. “It’s human nature to hope it won’t happen to you.”

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