Anchorage police boost patrols to deter terrorists

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police are beefing up patrols by 50 percent this weekend in response to national warnings of possible terrorist attacks.

The increased police presence began at 7 a.m. Friday.

Police said they will have more officers patrolling the streets for the next three days. And they say more random checks will be made on important facilities in the city.

Meanwhile, the visit of an Iranian dissident leader nearly went unnoticed by police, even though the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said he could be targeted by Islamist terrorists.

Dr. Manoucher Ganji was in Anchorage on Friday to speak to the World Affairs Council. Ganji was the minister of education for the Shah of Iran, but fled the country after the 1979 Islamic revolution. He founded an exile group working to establish Democracy in Iran.

He told the World Affairs Council that a successful invasion of Iraq could lead to a Democratic Iran.

Police contacted a local radio station after Ganji appeared on a show. They wanted to know where he would be speaking after they heard there might be a demonstration. There was no protest.

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