Security Concerns Grow Ahead Of July 4th Weekend


ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has learned that investigators from top agencies will patrol major events this weekend across four different metro counties.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne learned part of this plan was already in place before Tuesday’s attack in Turkey.

“Istanbul combined with Orlando certainly give the FBI and its law enforcement partners concern about an individual who might become radicalized and might view these events as soft targets,” said agent Steve Emmett, with the FBI.

Emmett said if you see the FBI’s mobile command center trying to make its way through Atlanta’s busy traffic this weekend, that will not be a good sign.

“It’ll be a bad day for the metro Atlanta area and the FBI if this has to roll,” Emmett said.

Winne was inside FBI Headquarters in Georgia Wednesday for the start of the final big briefing for the bureau’s Fourth of July operations, which cover a half-dozen major metro Atlanta events and others.

“We’ll have people here in the Atlanta area deployed to (several) venues,” Emmett told Winne.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation assistant special agent in charge Andrew Mossman told Winne he specializes in counterterrorism and says the GBI, with other agencies, has been planning for Fourth of July for months.

“We’ll have approximately 50 personnel specifically dedicated to work various venues and events in Atlanta over July Fourth,” Mossman said.

GBI bomb squad agent in charge Mike Clayton says metro Atlanta bomb techs are pooling their resources for a heavy presence across the metro.

“We’re as prepared as we can be,” Clayton said.

“We have no credible threats at this time but we’re going into the holiday period with vigilance and we’re asking for the public to do the same,” Emmett told Winne.

“The big problem with ISIS is there usually are no credible threats before they strike, right?” Winne asked Emmett.

“Correct. What we don’t know is what concerns us,” Emmett said.

Emmett urged anyone heading out for Fourth of July events to keep backpacks with you.

You can imagine how much of a concern an unattended backpack is to officers who are worried about bombs.

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