Israel, U.S. Jewish groups on alert fearing reprisal over bin Laden killing

| May 3, 2011

World leaders warned of revenge attacks after Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. assault in Pakistan on Monday that brought to a dramatic end the long manhunt for the al Qaeda leader who had become the most powerful symbol of Islamist militancy.

President Barack Obama declared the world was a safer and "better place" with bin Laden dead. But the euphoria that drew flag-waving crowds to "Ground Zero" of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack in New York was tempered by calls for vigilance against retaliation by his followers.

The U.S. administration told Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, about the killing before Obama made his statement to the press. But not all Americans felt at ease with the spontaneous street celebrations after the Al-Qaida leader's death. "These images of celebrations must look pretty ugly to the world," said one C-Span viewer. "It could bring about another attack."

In Israel, the Israel Airports Authority increased the alert level at the country's airports and border crossings, and security has been heightened around the offices of Israeli airlines abroad such as El Al, Arkia and Israir. The Airports Authority told Haaretz the measures addressed current security needs.

In addition, security has been increased at Jewish institutions across the United States, and the police are more closely monitoring American mosques.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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