D.C. police, Park Police on alert amid U.S., Syria conflict

WASHINGTON – The threat of military action from the Obama administration against Syria has prompted security concerns in the nation’s capital.

President Barack Obama is seeking authorization from Congress to use military force for a limited attack after the Syrian government purportedly used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of civilians.

Agencies in D.C. are preparing for possible retaliation in response to any U.S. action, according to internal documents obtained by ABC7. The U.S. Park Police and D.C. police are watching for suspicious activity and boosting surveillance near potential targets such as monuments and government buildings, ABC7 reports.

Paul Quander, D.C. deputy mayor for public safety and justice, says D.C. police have increased their presence at synagogues.

“We are about to celebrate certain Jewish holidays and so with that we want to make sure that we have a presence at some of the synagogues,” Quander says.

Jews will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning at sundown Wednesday, Sept. 4. The holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, follows on Sept. 13.

Quander also says there is “high visibility” of law enforcement at “critical infrastructure facilities throughout the city.”

He asks the public to be vigilant in the days ahead, “If you see something, say something.”

Officers stand ready to control impromptu demonstrations and rallies focused on the White House, a U.S. Park Police memo says, according to ABC7.

A separate memo within the D.C. police department instructs officers to be on the lookout for anyone asking suspicious questions about security protocols or purchasing materials that could be used to an build explosive device, ABC7 reports.

ABC7 says the department stresses there is “no credible information suggesting the likelihood of an imminent attack,” according to the memo.

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