Los Angeles Airport Security Boosted Amid Possible ISIS Threat - NBC News.com

By Jonathan Dienst

Security is being stepped up in Los Angeles, its area airports and other parts of Southern California amid new ISIS-related threats calling for attacks on uniformed personnel, several U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday.

ISIS, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has long called on its sympathizers to attack Western interests around the world.

Los Angeles had already started using two-man patrols as a precaution. Upgraded measures were extended to Los Angeles International Airport this week, officials said.

Investigators said there was no specific plot but concerns increased as result of intelligence from overseas as well as ongoing monitoring of suspected radicals inside the United States. FBI Director Jim Comey has said investigations into suspected ISIS sympathizers are underway in all 50 states.

Fears revolve around threats to uniformed personnel or locations that lone actors may want to target, the sources said, speaking on a condition of anonymity.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman would not comment on what specific intelligence has caused increased concerns along the West Coast. But, he added, officials had boosted security in recent months.

"Over the last few months, we have made a number of security adjustments, including enhanced screening at select overseas airports and increasing random searches of passengers and carry-on luggage on flights inbound to the U.S., reflecting an evolving threat picture," the spokesman said.

— With F. Brinley Bruton

First published April 25 2015, 10:24 AM

Jonathan Dienst

Emmy Award-winning reporter Jonathan Dienst helps lead WNBC's investigative reporting team, largely covering justice and law enforcement issues on subjects ranging from terrorism to white-collar cases, political corruption and local crime. With WNBC since 2001, Dienst also reports for "NBC Nightly News," MSNBC, CNBC and "The Today Show," and has appeared on "Dateline."

Dienst's coverage of terrorism, security and crime in the New York area includes many scoops, including the Fort Dix, N.J., terror plot; the existence of a “manifesto” sent by the Virginia Tech gunman to NBC News headquarters in New York; a videotape of 9/11 terror suspect Zacarious Moussaoui; U.S. terror charges being filed against radical British cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri; and many others.

He also has reported extensively on the aftermath and investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks, public corruption cases in New York and New Jersey, including allegations of Wall Street corruption, and white-collar crime.

Prior to joining WNBC, Dienst worked at WPIX/Channel 11 News from 1996-2001, covering police and the courts, politics and national and international news. While there he helped spearhead coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800 and also covered the police brutality case involving Abner Louima.

Before WPIX, Dienst was a member of the staff that helped launch New York 1 News in 1992. Dienst also worked as a reporter for NBC affiliate WSAV-TV in Savannah, Ga., and has written articles for Newsday and the New York Post.

Dienst is the recipient of numerous awards including: Deadline, Emmys, the New York Press Club Gold Typewriter, Associated Press/NY State Broadcasters, Edward R. Murrow, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Long Island Press Club, among others. Dienst has served on the Board of the New York Press Club and the local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Dienst is a graduate of Colgate University and received a Master's Degree in journalism from Columbia University. He lives in New York with his wife and their three children.

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