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Military on High Alert for Terrorist Attacks

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POPE AIR FORCE BASE — U.S. diplomats and military members in seven Gulf States have been put on high alert due to the airstrikes on Iraq and recentembassy bombingslinked to Osama Bin Laden.

The risk of terrorism in all Gulf States, and around the world, has many worried.

Defense Secretary William Cohensaid early Thursday that he is anticipating terrorist attacks in response to the strikes.

WRAL's military expert, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Springer, says: "They obviously picked up information there is some type of potential for terrorist attack."

Springer says 380 airmen fromPope Air Force Basewho are in Kuwait are probably among the many troops taking precautions.

The retired Air Force leader says the high-alert status raises awareness.

"There's a tendency to be complacent because nothing's happened," Springer says, "so what this does is raises the bar a little bit to a level of more concern."

Springer feels confident security at all U.S. embassies and facilities has been heightened because of this threat.

Springer says precautions include:
  • making sure under-the-car searches are thorough
  • removing people from their automobiles
  • searching vehicle trunks
  • Springer says we should be concerned about the threat of terrorism in the Pacific, Europe, and here at home as well. Editor's note: Springer will be chatting with WRAL OnLine visitors on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Look for the chat icon on our homepage.

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    Melissa Buscher, Reporter
    Michael Joyner, Photographer
    Julie Moos, Web Editor

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