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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks at the launch of the unaffiliated political organization known as No Labels December 13, 2010 at Columbia University in New York City.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke with KPCC this morning about Osama bin Laden's death.
Villaraigosa says that he is "somewhat concerned" about terrorism in the Los Angeles area. "Look, let me be absolutely clear: we are not on a heightened level of alert, but we are adding resources where necessary. We're being as vigilant as possible, particularly at the airport, the port, and places that could be a target of opportunity."
However, Villaraigosa says he wants to allay concerns that there was any specific threat, saying that the alert wasn't based on anything "other than the possibility, obviously, some al-Qaida operative may want to retaliate. We know that at some point efforts like that will occur," but that at this point there shouldn't be any further concern.
The mayor talked about how bin Laden's death would affect relationships with Muslim-Americans in Southern California. Villaraigosa said that President Barack Obama made clear in his statement last night that this was not an act against Islam or Muslims, and Villraigosa "also issued a statement last night saying the Muslim community has been a partner against terrorism here in the United States."
Villaraigosa says the Muslim-American community has "worked side by side with us over the years, stood together against hatred and united" against terrorism. "So we need to recognize that there's a difference between Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Muslim community overall." Villaraigosa says the city wants to be inclusive in everything it does with the Muslim community.
The mayor says that Osama bin Laden's death has not changed his plans for today other than raised vigilance. Villaraigosa spoke with KPCC from the Los Angeles International Airport on the tarmac, where he was preparing to leave for Washington, D.C. Villaraigosa is traveling to advocate for Los Angeles's priorities in Washington, working with Access L.A., a group of hundreds of business leaders from around Los Angeles.
Villaraigosa says he will continue monitoring the situation from Washington, and that "our hearts and prayers are with the Navy SEAL team and the counterintelligence operatives who helped to make this day happen."