(Washington, DC) DC residents, commuters, businesses and visitors learned recently that certain financial institutions located here are the focus of a credible terrorist threat, according to Homeland Security Secretary Thomas Ridge, who raised the threat level to orange here, and in New York and Newark, NJ. In response, Mayor Anthony A. Williams advises everyone to conduct their lives, follow their regular schedules, and report suspicious behavior as well as unattended packages.
He also assured people that there is a sufficient number of police in neighborhoods as well as in the areas where the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other buildings, such as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, are located.
Department of Mental Health Director Martha B. Knisley echoes Mayor Williams' advice and suggests that anyone who is overly anxious about this threat may call the DMH Access HelpLine at 1-888-7WE-HELP. "We are pretty resilient in the District," she said. "Since September 11, we have accepted that terrorists view the nation's capital as a prime target to disrupt our way of life, but we use our coping skills, stick to our daily schedules and continue to enjoy life despite these concerns."
Director Knisley added that some people may find unsettling the terrorists' detailed knowledge of these financial institutions' security procedures. "If you just can't shake off the sense of disquiet, or you feel uncertain of how to explain the threat to your children, give us a call at 1-888-7WE-HELP. Our staff will listen to your concerns and offer assistance with handling them," she said.
The DMH Access HelpLine is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 1-888-7WE-HELP or 793-4357. DMH also operates a 24/7telephone line for young people. It can be reached by calling 1-866-245-6340.