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Bowser, Homeland Security Brass Urge D.C. Residents’ Acuity

Soleimani Killing by Trump Spurs Safety Concerns

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and her homeland security team recently said although the city remains safe in light of the assassination of top Iranian general Qassim Soleimani ordered by President Trump, residents should be vigilant about their surroundings just in case.

“There is no immediate threat to Washington, D.C,” Bowser said at a Jan. 9 news conference with her homeland security team. “I will continue to receive high-level briefings on security and our administration is in close contact with federal and regional partners.”

A number of cities throughout the country have been on high alert since Soleimani’s death on Jan. 3. Iranian officials vowed retaliation for the assassination with the launching of U.S. missiles against U.S. military bases in Iraq on Jan. 7 taking place.

However, no Americans died during the bombings.

Nevertheless, Christopher Rodriguez, the District’s director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the city will continue to be alert to potential threats.

“We have increased the police presence around the District,” Rodriguez said. “The police, fire and emergency management services departments are well-prepared for these types of events.”

Rodriguez said that Iran “is a sophisticated cyber actor” and advised District residents to be hyper-vigilant with emails and to change passwords frequently.

“Residents should stay vigilant online and off,” he said, recommending a subscription to the District government’s DC Alerts texts for the latest developments. “More importantly, trust your gut. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.”

Jeffery Carroll, the District’s assistant chief of police for its Homeland Security Bureau, said city businesses and entertainment spots such as nightclubs should be ready for an attack by a foreign adversary.

“Business owners should review their emergency action plan with their employees,” Carroll said. “Residents need to be prepared and know what is going on in the community.”

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