Bomb Threat At UN Prompts Tighter Security

Tuesday, March 27th 2007, 1:15 pm
By: News On 6

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A bomb threat at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday prompted increased security at the landmark 39-story building, a U.N. spokesman said.

``The New York Police Department received an unconfirmed bomb threat so the U.N. stepped up security as a precautionary measure,'' said U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq.

According to a U.N. diplomat, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service received an anonymous phone call saying a taxi would arrive at U.N. headquarters overlooking the East River at 10 a.m. with two backpacks filled with grenades. The threat was relayed to New York police, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the threat were not released.

Just before 10 a.m., a line of about 10 New York City police cars, their lights flashing, were on First Avenue just outside U.N. headquarters. At U.N. entrances, security officials were checking the bags of all staff. Sniffer dogs, who are permanently based here, were also on patrol.

The U.N. headquarters building was reported to be a terrorist target following the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The United Nations and former Secretary-General Kofi Annan have been condemned by Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 suicide hijackings.

The New York landmark was evacuated after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and again the following day, and mail delivery was halted for several weeks in the fall of 2001 because of an anthrax threat.