Increased terror alert: How vulnerable is San Diego? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Increased terror alert: How vulnerable is San Diego?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Local law enforcement is on the alert for potential terrorist threats after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a terror warning. This high alert comes after the U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria.

According to CBS News a group called Khorasan, consisting of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, has been working on hard-to-detect bombs that can be smuggled onto planes. The terrorist group has been trained by al-Qaeda's top bomb maker and linked to the Underwear Bomber and exploding computer printers.

Now, the government is searching for any homegrown terrorists in the U.S.

"At present the FBI and DHS are not aware of any specific, credible threat to the San Diego region. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency or the FBI," said Special Agent Darrell Foxworth with FBI San Diego.

San Diego State professor and terrorism expert Dipak Gupta says despite being next to the border and the ocean, groups like Khorasan may not be the biggest concern. The bigger threat may be lone wolves.

"How many have come across the border? These people are home grown. Many of them are home grown or have been there legally," he said.

He points to the Boston bombers, both raised in the U.S. Another example is the Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nadal Hassan. Those could pose a greater threat than a group that's on the government's radar.

"Today we have taken extraordinary steps in many directions in detecting, in counter-terrorism, in providing alternative ideologies, recruiting community leaders. So it's a different ball game all together," Gupta said.

Gupta adds that we can do our part by being vigilant and not living in fear.

"We are not going to worry about things that just scare us. And that's important for a community to remember," he said.

Meanwhile, Naval Base San Diego is taking part in a large-scale, anti-terrorism training exercises through Saturday. The exercises are designed to protect ships against threats in Navy Ports.
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