msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/2/2011 2:08:06 PM ET 2011-05-02T18:08:06

The government has no plans to raise the terror alert level in the U.S. as a result of Osama bin Laden's death, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

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"The death of Osama bin Laden is an important success not only for the United States, but the entire world," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in statement. "Our efforts to combat terrorism, however, do not fixate on one individual, and we remain completely focused on protecting our nation against violent extremism of all kinds."

Napolitano says elevated terror alerts will only be issued when the government has "specific or credible information to convey to the American public."

Some law enforcement agencies around the U.S. added security measures on Monday following Osama bin Laden's death out of an abundance of caution.

In Los Angeles, police were stepping up intelligence monitoring, while New York was sending extra police to its subways, airports, bridges and the World Trade Center site itself.

NBC News reports that John F. Kennedy International Airport this morning was business as usual.

Napolitano says the country remains at a heightened state of vigilance, and the U.S. is safer than it was on 9/11, in part because bin Laden is dead.

"Our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the coming days and beyond," Napolitano said.

But Rep. Peter King told NBC's TODAY show the al-Qaida terrorist organization could "try to avenge this death" and said "we'll have to be on full alert."

The U.S. State Department on Sunday warned Americans worldwide of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence" following the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations," the State Department said in a statement.

The Department of Homeland Security scrapped the old color-coded terror alert system last month and said it would instead issue alerts only when credible or specific threats emerged. The new warnings will have only two levels — elevated and imminent — and could be conveyed to the public through Facebook and Twitter. Unlike the color-coded system, the new alerts will have expiration dates.

Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was included in this report.

© 2013 msnbc.com

Video: Security stepped up after Bin Laden death

  1. Closed captioning of: Security stepped up after Bin Laden death

    >>> at the top of the broadcast, we talked about what bein laden din here and how it has affected life in america. sometimes we can forget. we asked pete williams to look at all of it for us tonight. pete's in washington. good evening.

    >> reporter: it was because of the 9/11 attacks that the government created this sprawling new enttty, the department of homeland security . but as significant has his death is, experts say it won't make an immediate change in the terror threat. taking no chances, new york's police commissioner ordered a show of force, beefing up security at subway stations, trains, and other sensitive sites.

    >> our assumption is bin laden 's disciples would like nothing better than to avenge his death by another attack in new york. that's our operating premise.

    >> reporter: here in washington, police stepped up patrols downtown and at mass transit . at errant said, extra dog teams were out. and fbi officials said agents were increasing surveillance on the small number of suspected plots they have been watching for weeks, unrelated to bin laden 's death. but janet napolitano said with no evident of an actual retaliation, there was no reason to issue an alert to the public or the government. the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent attacks it inspired transformed everything. for travelers, a cramp down. new and revealing body scanners, plus intrusive and controversial pat-downs and thousands of air marshals on high-risk flights, and for now, none of that will change. intelligence experts say the danger now comes from al qaeda -inspired grouped around the world. in yemen, where recent plots were catched, and from home-grown terrorists who remain a threat.

    >> it might go up in the short-term because people who are not directly connected to the al qaeda group, kids in texas or london, france, say i'm angry at what happened and i'm going to go out and do something.

    >> reporter: the only actual warning comes from the state department telling americans to look out for any potential anti-u.s. violence.

    >> pete williams at one of the first places we had to get to known after 9/11, the department of homeland

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