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Alleged terror plot prompts NY airports to tighten security

Law enforcement officers leave the international arrival gates

Law enforcement officers leave the international arrival gates at the Detroit airport. A passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Nigeria was taken into custody and hospitalized after he was subdued while igniting a fire onboard as the plane descended for landing, federal officials said. (Dec. 25, 2009) Credit: AP

Passengers heading to area airports can expect tightened security measures Saturday as the threat of Friday's attempted terror attack is assessed by law enforcement.

Steve Coleman of the Port Authority Police, whose jurisdictions include Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, said, "As far as our police go, we typically add additional security to respond to whatever events might be happening here or elsewhere."

>> PHOTOS: Terrorist attempts to blow up plane

Teresa Rizzuto, Long Island McArthur Airport aviation commissioner, said she received notification from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration about the Detroit incident about 6 p.m.

"We were called a few hours ago. There is no security directive at this point directing us to do something, but . . . [we] volunteered to immediately upgrade our security, immediately increasing security and patrols at the airport."

Rizzuto said she expects the TSA will issue a directive on increasing security measures.

FBI New York Division spokesman Richard Kolko said, "Our JTTF and airport response agents are closely monitoring the situation."

The JTTF is the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, New York Police Department and other police and security agencies in the New York City area.

Department of Homeland Security officials said travelers will see an immediate stepped-up security presence.

"Passengers may notice additional screening measures put in place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights," Sara Kuban, a spokeswoman for Homeland of Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said in a prepared statement.

>> PHOTOS: Terrorist attempts to blow up plane

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