Federal and local law enforcement in Los Angeles ramped up security across the city’s massive transit system after authorities received an overseas tip Monday about an imminent bombing at the Metro Red Line’s Universal City station.
According to Deirdre Fike, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, an anonymous man warned of a potential attack Tuesday and provided information on a tip line abroad, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Although Fike declined to specify which country fielded the tip, she did confirm that it was delivered in English.
The FBI and local law enforcement spoke at a news conference Monday evening and said that the threat was considered specific and imminent, and investigators were examining its credibility.
“This could be real, it could be a hoax,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. “We’re asking the public to stay calm and vigilant.”
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that local law enforcement reviews threats such as these constantly, but the specificity of this incident forced a rapid response.
“We don’t have the time to vet this threat in the way we would like,” Beck said. “This one we had to move quickly on.”
There will be an increased presence of uniformed police, sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units checking for explosives.
The sheriff’s department oversees security for Los Angeles County Metro’s bus and rail system, and McDonnell said that undercover operations would be conducted throughout the day.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said he would ride the Metro Red Line Tuesday from Universal City, told the public to prepare for random bag searches.
“My advice is right now, everyone should go about their normal day tomorrow,” Garcetti said Monday. “People may see a heightened security presence … but don’t let those frighten you.”
Chief Scott Edson, head of the sheriff’s department’s Homeland Security Division, said that passengers should report any suspicious activity.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.