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Mass. boosts patrols, heightens security

Threat does not include Boston or New England

By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / September 11, 2011

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Authorities in Massachusetts plan a visible police presence and vigilant security for today’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Boston police have extra patrols on duty and have urged members of the public to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious.

The Massachusetts Port Authority is on “high alert,’’ the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is executing a 9/11 security plan it drew up long before today, and State Police have assigned increased patrols at public events on state property.

Since Wednesday, officials have been investigating a tip that Al Qaeda may have sent three men to the United States to detonate a vehicle bomb in New York or Washington for a strike coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. They have termed the tip credible while stressing that it has not been verified.

Yesterday senior officials said that US intelligence agencies have found no evidence that Al Qaeda sneaked any terrorists into the country, according to the Associated Press. And nothing in the tip cites Boston or New England.

Nevertheless, security remains a concern locally, particularly given Boston’s role in the 9/11 attacks: Two of the hijacked planes used in the attacks took off from Logan International Airport.

“We have continued to monitor the information provided to us, and to check specific items against our own local intelligence, and there remains no known nexus between the credible threat intelligence and the state of Massachusetts,’’ Procopio said. “Nonetheless, Massachusetts state troopers will be ever vigilant for anything that just doesn’t look right, and will be prepared to respond to any suspicious reports anywhere in the state.’’

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis echoed the sentiment on Friday.

“Although there is no known specific threat to Boston, we will take appropriate precaution by increasing patrols and asking officers to heighten vigilance,’’ Davis said in a statement. “We would also ask the community to do the same and report any suspicious activity to police.’’

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globe_guilfoil.