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Threats close S.D. ports

Calexico unaffected

November 13, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A bomb threat that led to the closure of three ports of entry in the San Diego area did not affect operations at the three ports in this area.

The Calexico downtown Port of Entry, the Calexico East Port of Entry and the Andrade port all remain on the highest possible state of alert, as they have since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

However, Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in the San Diego area, said there have been no reports of bomb threats in the Calexico area.

Monday's bomb threats were phoned into the California Highway Patrol's communication center in Kearny Mesa at 1:44 p.m.

Based on that threat, the ports in San Ysidro, Otay Mesa and Tecate were closed for just under two hours, with several hundred port employees evacuated.

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Mack said bomb sweeps were conducted but there was nothing found.

Monday's bomb threat was the first received in the San Diego area since the week of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the week following the attacks, there were a number of bomb threats received in San Diego.

The terrorist attacks have left all ports in the nation on a high state of alert, which has meant tighter screening of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

There has been no word on when the increased security measures might ease, but INS and the U.S. Customs Service officials have said they remain on such alert until ordered otherwise.

The increased security has led to longer waits for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Port officials said they are doing what they can to move traffic along while continuing closer scrutiny of border crossers.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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