Public vigilance to help prevent terrorist acts

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans woman who crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon just seconds before Monday's bomb blasts recalls a scene of bloodshed and terror.

But, as she prepared to return home Tuesday, Kirsten Feil said she and her boyfriend already are talking about running next year.

"Terrorists, they want you to live in fear," Feil said in a telephone interview as she prepared to return home from Boston. "If I don't run again or if I change my behavior in any way, they win."

Her longtime boyfriend, Tom Phillips, agreed.

"People who do this, they want the media attention," Phillips said. "The marathon is an international event, and they knew cameras from all over the world were on that finish line. We need to be cautious, but we can't let them win."

About three dozen runners who ran in the Boston Marathon were from Louisiana, but none was reported to be among those seriously injured.

It was the 14th time Feil had run the Boston Marathon in what she called "a Feil family tradition."

Feil was interviewed as federal, state and local law enforcement officials gathered for a news conference at FBI headquarters in New Orleans to point out the need for public vigilance to help prevent terrorist acts - and to help solve cases.

The news conference was called after a Baton Rouge man, William Bouvay Jr., 43, pleaded guilty plea on Monday in a bomb threat at LSU. But Monday's blast in Boston also became a major topic.

FBI Special Agent Michael Anderson was joined by officials from law enforcement jurisdictions in the New Orleans area as he recounted a number of bomb or shooting threats that authorities have investigated in the 10 months since he took over the New Orleans office.

Authorities also were mindful that New Orleans has a major event, the Jazz and Heritage Festival, coming up later in April.

Police chief Ronal Serpas outlined the cooperative work of various federal, state and local agencies involved in a Joint Terrorism Task Force to deal with terrorist threats and acts.

"We have no reason and we have no intelligence to tell us anything that we should be concerned about," Serpas said. "But that doesn't mean that we don't think about this every single day for every major event that we handle here in the city."

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