Two of the 250 “critical assets” the U-S Department of Homeland Security has asked states to secure are in Iowa. The nation’s under a heightened security alert, and state officials are keeping watch over two Mississippi River railroad bridges — the Union Pacific bridge in Clinton and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe bridge in Fort Madison. Ellen Gordon, Iowa’s Homeland Security advisor, says her office has received no specific threat information regarding the two bridges, but the feds have told her the bridges are critical assets that need additional security. She says they’re coordinating with local law officers and Illinois officials to determine the security needs.Gordon and her staff have identified a list of “critical assets” within Iowa.Gordon says when the threat level is heightened, her office calls the owners of those critical assets, and no one has asked for additional security. Federal officials say there may be terror strikes on American soil to retaliate against U-S military action in Iraq. Of particular concern are places and events which draw lots of people — things like shopping malls and sports arenas. Gordon says her office has consulted with those who manage security for the high school tournaments, and expects to consult with Iowa and Iowa State officials as those universities host NIT games. Gordon says citizens should be “alert and cautious, but there’s no need for alarm.” The additional security is just a precaution, according to Gordon.
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