Terrorist scare puts security on high alert

  • 2002-11-14

Lithuania has beefed up security at its Klaipeda port on the Baltic Sea and embassies located in Vilnius were placed under tighter control following warnings of a possible terrorist attack aimed to thwart U.S. President George Bush's visit to Lithuania later this month.

"We have received information from Poland's International Rescue Center that a terrorist attack is planned in one of Europe's ports and took adequate steps," a spokesman for the Lithuanian border guards said, adding that border guards had been put on high alert since Nov. 9, checking all ships entering the port.

Special attention is being paid to cars coming off ferries, said the spokesman.

U.S. President George Bush is expected to visit Vilnius on Nov. 22 - 23 after NATO's summit in Prague.

Saulius Gagas, commissar inspector of the public police division Vytas, said that border guards are carrying out thorough searches of every ship entering the port.

Gunars Dabolins, chief of Latvia's border guards, said that security had also been tightened at the country's ports. "There really is information that someone is trying to bring in a bomb," he said.

The border guards report that all incoming vessels are being checked, but that ferries carrying private automobiles are undergoing very close scrutiny.

Vytautas Makauskas of Lithuania's State Security Department said recently that Lithuania had received information from a West European country about possible terrorist acts in one of the European ports. In his words, according to the available information "the possible terrorist attack had to be carried out by (Nov. 12)."

The daily paper Telegraf in Riga reported that the special services have also issued warnings about a possible terrorist attack against a U.S. Embassy in one of the Baltic states.