South Mississippians Talk About 9-11 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/06/03

South Mississippians Talk About 9-11

As the second anniversary of 9-11 draws near, U-S intelligence officials are warning that terrorists might be plotting new attacks against the United States. At the moment, there are no plans to raise the threat level to High, but we checked in with some South Mississippians to see how safe they feel as the anniversary of 9-11 approaches.

This weekend, the F-B-I is looking for four suspected Al Qaeda members. Investigators believe the men are planning to attack the U-S, overseas or here on American soil.

With the anniversary of 9-11 just days away, we caught up with some South Mississippians to see if they feel safe here on the coast.

"I really trust the United States, and especially around here, having the Air Force base around, and I don't see any problem. I don't see anything coming up. And if it does, I know we're going to be safe," said Mariela Williams.

"I think the base is extremely secure. They have guards posted. I mean, there's nothing going to happen that I can foresee," said Cecil Hyder.

Eddie Nisperos said, "We're very much prepared for anything to happen, especially since 9-11. Everyone noticed that a lot of security got beefed up around the airport, also around the bases."

"I think we've always been safe. I think we overreacted with 9-11, to be real honest with you, but of course, the Americans are famous for that," said Cecil Hyder.

Still, the head of counter terrorism warns all Americans to stay alert and on the lookout for any suspected Al Qaeda terrorists.

Larry Mefford, FBI Counter terrorism Chief, said, "They are still a very dangerous component and adversary, and we have to have our guard up. And our guard needs to remain up."

Local law enforcement officials agree. That's one of the reasons the Biloxi fire and police departments are planning to hold a memorial here on Thursday in remembrance of 9-11.

"I think, each year, it's important that all Americans remember it, participate in it, and again, stay vigilant. When we become apathetic and start forgetting, history tends to repeat itself," said Bruce Dunagan, Biloxi's Police Chief.

Meanwhile, the manhunt for the four suspects continues and our federal, state, and local law enforcement officers will be working overtime during the next few days to make sure this 9-11 is a quiet one.

Toni Miles

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