Possible Terrorist Threat on The Las Vegas Strip - 8 News NOW

Brian Allen, Reporter

Possible Terrorist Threat on The Las Vegas Strip

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Click here to contact Reporter Brian Allen .

(Jan. 20) -- When the Las Vegas office of the FBI became aware of the possible terrorist threat Wednesday, they notified not only local law enforcement, tourism and transportation officials, but also the security chiefs for casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And they confirmed what Eyewitness News  learned Thursday afternoon.

A document faxed to Eyewitness News confirmed the Las Vegas office of the FBI received information Wednesday of terrorists possibly planning to use commercial vehicles to carry out attacks to coincide with the Inauguration of President Bush. Washington, D.C. was mentioned as a target, so was Las Vegas.

While the FBI says the information was non-specific and was not able to be confirmed through other intelligence channels, an alert was put out to area law enforcement and casino industry security chiefs.

Eyewitness News did some checking of our own and visited three hotel casinos on the Strip and found a lot of security in place.

Driving down Las Vegas Boulevard nothing seemed out of the ordinary. However, upon pulling into the Venetian hotel and casino, we observed multiple guards with dogs checking every vehicle, in some cases opening the vehicles and sending the dogs inside. A guard at the Venetian told Eyewitness News  the extra security was due to a bomb scare

At the New York-New York hotel casino, Eyewitness News observed five guards checking taxis, limos, and vans pulling onto the property. Guards were also checking vehicles trying to access the parking ramps there.

It was the same story at the MGM-Grand. Checkpoints were set up at every entrance to the MGM property. In some cases, trucks were detained as more than one guard would search through them, looking for anything suspicious.

MGM spokesman, Alan Feldman confirms to Eyewitness News that Nevada Homeland Security officials told him of a possible threat, and that he may want to increase his security.

At McCarran International Airport, Metro officers are patrolling inside the terminal and outside the terminal security crews are stopping limousines and other large-sized vehicles.

The Las Vegas office of the FBI says the information concerning Las Vegas was non-specific, and could not be confirmed through other intelligence channels. But that Las Vegas information was bundled in with information about Washington, D.C. that was specific. But when the threats against Washington didn't pan out, security officials in Las Vegas scaled back their efforts.

Click here to contact Reporter Brian Allen.

A suspicious briefcase forced the shut down of part of the Strip overnight Wednesday. Police closed Las Vegas Boulevard at Tropicana after the briefcase was found unattended. The bomb squad blew up the briefcase. There was nothing inside. The road re-opened shortly after midnight.


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