Nightly News   |  May 02, 2011

Security stepped up after Bin Laden death

New York and Washington have tightened security in the wake of Bin Laden's death, but experts say overall, there is no big change in the terror threat. NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 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