WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - In the midst of an alleged plot to attack the nation's capitol, specially trained analysts are tracking and investigating threats in Palm Beach County.
An Ohio man was arrested for allegedly talking about planting bombs at the U.S. Capitol building. Authorities say investigators became aware of the suspect through his Twitter posts. That kind of analysis of threats is being executed at a secret Homeland Security Center located in Palm Beach County.
A team of specially trained analysts with Homeland Security work at the Fusion Center. They use highly advanced software to analyze potential terror threats from Martin County to the Keys. "We can monitor any type of incident, whether it's a man-made disaster, whether it's a Homeland Security issue, regardless of what it is, this is our control center," said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
If a potential threat like the alleged bomb plot on the capitol building would turn up in the region, Sheriff Bradshaw says he would be ready to mobilize. As chairman of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force, he has a direct line of communication with Washington, D.C. "If that threat to South Florida is going to happen, we will know instantaneously about that threat. We would be able to get that information out to the other agencies and make our deployment from there," added Sheriff Bradshaw.
The manager of the Fusion Center says now more than ever any potential threats are more likely to show up on the internet, but the center stays vigilant on all fronts.
This local Fusion Center is the only one with coastal radar. It adds extra security to the Port of Palm Beach, the fourth busiest port in Florida.
Sheriff Bradshaw says in the last year, coastal radar has helped interdict about 30 boats and 270 people trying to get into the country illegally. Even with all the technology, the Sheriff says, the most valuable resource is still the public the center tries to protect.
The Sheriff encourages citizens to report any suspicious or out of the ordinary incidents. He says if you see something, say something.