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Dayton: Minn. Vigilant After Bin Laden’s Death

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By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Before Osama bin Laden became infamous, none of these were around: TSA, bag checks, pat-downs, scanners, and threat alerts.

After bin Laden’s death, they won’t go away, despite there being no specific threats in Minnesota. Moreover, Gov. Mark Dayton is still urging caution.

“I have instructed Minnesota’s Commissioner of Public Safety Ramona Dohman to redouble our vigilance in the next weeks to assure Minnesotans are fully protected from any repercussions from this incident,” Dayton said.

Airport Security

WCCO-TV spoke with people at the Twin Cities International Airport Monday and one woman said she felt safer traveling now that bin Laden has been killed and because security has temporarily been increased.

Airport officials say they haven’t been notified of any direct threats, but they are aware of the possibility of an attack.

“We know the fact there could be repercussions; it’s on the back of everybody’s mind,” said Pat Hogan, the airport spokesperson. “And so our hope would be if anybody sees anything suspicious, they dial 911, report it, and let us check it out.”

Terrorist Links In Minnesota’s Somali Community

Minnesota’s got more than a passing knowledge of terrorism. Al-Qaeda recruited men from Minnesota’s bustling Somali community. And one top Somali says the state should be especially vigilant for the next few days.

“Minnesota is the state that has 20 members of the community who have gone back to join a terrorist organization, where at least 2 of them committed suicide bombing,” said Omar Jamal, of the United Nations Somali Mission.

Mall Of America Security

Since September 11, 2001, the Mall of America has been on a Homeland Security list of possible high visibility targets.

Mall officials won’t comment on security procedures, but say they are constantly under review to ensure safety.

And Minnesota’s top public safety officer is urging private business to be alert for anything unusual.

“We need to also use these times, like today, to remind people what it felt like back on 9/11 — to remember how we felt about that and to not lose sight of the fact that we do really still need to always pay attention to what is going on around us,” Dohman said.

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