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French Truck Attack Puts Spotlight on RNC Security

July 15,2016 19:06

Concrete barriers sprang up on the streets of Cleveland overnight, within hours of the horrific truck attack in France. It was unclear if those barriers were part of the security plan for the Republican National Convention even before a driver plowed ...and more »



Cleveland Police reviewed the security plan for the Republican National Convention within hours of the horrific truck attack in France and plan on making "enhancements," officials said.

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told NBC News that his team sat down at 6 a.m. Friday to discuss what changes might be needed — from changing traffic patterns to closing public areas. He did not say what decisions were made.

It wasn't the first time global events have prompted Cleveland officials to make changes to the plan. More 8-foot steel fencing, cameras and other technology was added after attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando and Dallas.

Dallas especially was a "wakeup call that exposed our vulnerability as law enforcement," Tomba said.

Terror expert Malcolm Nance, executive director of the Terror Asymmetric Project, said that the events in France — even though no motive has been released — would undoubtedly have an impact in Ohio if only out of fear of a lone-wolf copycat attack.

"It's going to change the imagination-scape of the counter-terrorism forces protecting the RNC," he said. "I'm certain they are strategizing on protection to stop a vehicle attack."

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson inspected the RNC site on Friday, and will visit the Democratic National Convention venue in Philadelphia next Friday.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, he said he was concerned about "the possibility of violence," but noted that the government would have 3,000 security personnel working the convention.

FBI Director James Comey said his agency was aware that "people from across a spectrum of radical groups" might be interested in staging an attack.

"We're watching it very, very carefully," he said.

Mick Kelly, co-organizer of a rally and march that could draw several thousand people to a downtown Cleveland park on Monday, said he is not "overly concerned" about a terrorist attack.

"We live in a big world and sometimes lightning does strike but we're well organized, we're disciplined and we can take care of ourselves," he said.

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