A missile attack of Iran on the bases that host U.S. troops in Iraq, has caused a new wave of concern in the transport infrastructure of the United States, because everywhere has increased concerns about security, writes USA Today.
Across the United States airports from new York to Chicago and Seattle are already in a state of high alert in anticipation of possible violence in retaliation for the murder of General Qassem of Soleimani January 3 during the impact of US forces in Baghdad. Land entry points on the borders of the United States have also stepped up precautions.
7 January, Iran released at least a dozen rockets at two US military bases in Iraq, confirmed the Pentagon. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Iran Javad Zarif later wrote on Twitter that Iran does not seek an escalation of the conflict.
Missile strikes, Iran is unlikely to change the level of security measures in the United States, said Jill Kerlikowske, who held the post of Commissioner of customs and border protection from 2014 through 2017 of the administration of President Barack Obama.
“Customs and border protection will continue to exercise extreme caution so I don’t see significant changes — said Kerlikowske, now a Professor at northeastern University. — I think that CBP will simply retain a high level of vigilance”.
The Federal aviation administration said it has notified the air carriers in the United States, to suspend their operations in the airspace over Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
“The FAA will continue to monitor closely the developments in the middle East — said the Agency. — We continue to coordinate with partners on national security and to share information with the carriers in the United States and foreign authorities in the field of civil aviation”.
Singapore Airlines stated that they have rerouted their flights from Europe to bypass the Iranian airspace.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and if necessary will make appropriate adjustments to our routes,” said the airline.
Qantas Airways, which flies between Britain and Australia, said that adjusts its flight path over Iran and Iraq, “until further notice”. A longer route will mean that Qantas will have to carry fewer passengers and more fuel to stay in the air for an additional 40-50 minutes.
American Airlines stated that they have no flights to the region, which would affect the Directive of the FAA.
Delta Air Lines said that none of its operations were not affected by the FAA order.
Paris Air France said it suspended all flights over the airspace of Iran and Iraq for an indefinite period.
Malaysia Airlines also made a statement that “due to recent events,” the aircraft will avoid the airspace of Iran.
However Qatar Airways announced that its flight to Iraq was run in normal mode.
“The safety of our passengers and employees is paramount, and we continue to monitor closely developments in Iraq,” says the airline.
Cathay Pacific Airways based in Hong Kong, said none of its flights during the year were not sent to Iran or Iraq.
Lufthansa Group said that it will fly bypassing the airspace of Iran and Iraq, though, and said it plans to resume normal operation of its flights to Tehran and back on 9 January.
“We are in constant contact with national and international authorities and will daily make the decision to work flights and their organizations,” said the company.
Although foreign airlines are not bound by rules or directives of the FAA, they often follow his instructions.
Prevention of the Department of homeland security
On 4 January the Department of homeland security has released an Advisory Bulletin of the National system for combating terrorism, which is still in force. It says that there is no sign of “specific, real threat” in the United States, but warned that “the attack on the country may occur with little warning or without it.”
The Bulletin notes that the United States has declared Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, and allow a range of possible Iranian cyber attacks or terror by “homegrown violent extremists”.
“Iran supports the powerful cyberpromo and may perform cyber attack on the United States — said in a Bulletin. — Iran is capable at least to carry out attacks with temporary devastating consequences for critical infrastructure in the United States.”
According to Kerlikowske, passengers arriving in the U.S. who are traveling from Iran or transit through Iran will likely continue be subjected to additional checks.
The head of the Council on American-Islamic relations in Washington said that more than 60 Iranians and Iranian Americans were arrested and interrogated at the border crossing in Blaine on the canadian border during the weekend. Others were denied entry into the United States because of the lack of the ability to detain them.
The detainees said that their passports were confiscated and they were questioned about political views and allegiances, said in a written statement to the Council.
CBP officials denied the allegation.
January 7, a member of the house of representatives Pramila Jayapal sent a letter to the acting head of the Department of homeland security Chad Wolff and the acting Commissioner of CBP to Mark Morgan with the requirement to provide information about reports that 200 Iranian Americans have been subjected to repeated inspection and kept for up to 12 hours in Blaine.
The letter, also addressed to the Director of the border crossing in Blaine Kenneth Williams, requests the administration to prepare trump any “directives, orders, guidance, instruction,” concerning the control of persons of Iranian origin, or any changes in inspection procedures in response to the death of Soleimani.
Utilities USA also keep an eye out for the safety of the basic infrastructure of the country.
In recent years, cyber attacks on the power grid are of particular concern. Researchers from the US Department of energy consider these attacks a serious threat.
In Arizona, the official representatives of public utilities Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project said that they take the usual precautions.
“Due to the critical nature of our business APS maintains a constant heightened awareness of emerging security threats, including threats of physical and cyber security, said Monday the press-Secretary of the APS Jenna Rowell. In this case, the command cyber security APS is monitoring the situation, paying particular attention to being informed of any information about threats that I can share the Federal Agency or the sectoral and technological partners”.
Press Secretary Scott Harelson stated that SRP also liaises with government agencies to monitor security threats.
“While we cannot discuss specific steps we can tell you that we asked all of our security personnel to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity,” he said.
APS operates the largest U.S. nuclear power plant in Palo Verde, 50 miles (80 km) West of downtown Phoenix.
Rowell said that the work on the station is in normal mode and work all three blocks.
“We are at the standard level of security as staff are always vigilant and report any suspicious activity at the station or near it,” said Rowell.