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Despite increased risk of terrorism, Washington visitors say they feel safe

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Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

By Stephen Hicks


BRITTANY BADE/CRONKITE NEWS: This week the United States began targeted airstrikes in Syria, raising the threat for a terrorist attack back here in the United States. Cronkite News reporter Stephen Hicks has the story.

STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: On top of firing missiles at ISIS, the U.S. is also targeting the Khorasan group. It’s a group U.S. security officials say are planning imminent attacks on the United States, heightened today by reports that they’re targeting U.S. subways. However, the people I spoke with didn’t seem too worried about it.

MARK SNEED/COLORADO VISITOR: I feel fairly safe. I mean security – there’s rumors all the time, there’s stories all the time. We’re always going to have that. It’s just part of life now.

STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: If the threat of terrorism is just a part of life now, so too is the added level of security that has become expected throughout Washington.

BERNHARD KLEIN/GERMAN VISITOR: It’s just what you expect there will be. It’s nothing that harms you. It’s just a normal thing.

STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: Posts blocking cars from going anywhere near government buildings and parks have become part of the architecture of the city. And an added police presence and requirement to go through a metal detector in most buildings are to be expected. But the measures do seem to add a feeling of security.

MACIEJ/POLISH VISITOR: Everybody can be a terrorist. Like, a white guy can be a terrorist. I think that the United States are doing very well to protect people from terrorism.

STEPHEN HICKS/CRONKITE NEWS: When an intruder leapt the fence in front of the White House last week, the response from the Secret Service was to put a waist-high fence some 6 feet in front of the original. And most tourists are taking that in stride.

All of the other people I spoke with agreed that whatever can keep the country – and in the case of the White House fence, the president – safe, they would support. In Washington D.C., Stephen Hicks, Cronkite News.