US & Canada

US increases government security after Ottawa shooting

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared in Washington on 23 October 2014 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the increased security measures

The US has announced bolstered security measures at government buildings across the nation in the wake of an attack on Canadian parliament.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the Federal Protective Service will enhance its presence at various sites in Washington DC and elsewhere.

The action has been described as a precautionary step to safeguard US government personnel and facilities.

It comes one week after a gunman opened fire in Ottawa, killing a soldier.

"The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organisations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada," Mr Johnson wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

"Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance."

The homeland security chief did not provide details as to which of the more than 9,500 federal US facilities will see additional security, claiming such information is "law-enforcement sensitive".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid his respects to fallen soldier Cpl Nathan Cirillo

The announcement comes just hours after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke at a funeral for Cpl Nathan Cirillo, 24, killed by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau last week.

"May time ease the searing pain of today," Mr Harper told mourners.

Cirillo was standing guard unarmed at Canada's war memorial when Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, opened fire.

The gunman then entered Canada's parliament and fired dozens of shots before being killed by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

The Canadian authorities earlier said the gunman was radicalised but had no ties to Middle Eastern Islamist extremists.

Related Topics

More on this story