NJ security experts alarmed by Manchester bombing tactics

Posted: Updated:
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Several New Jersey security experts say they are worried about the tactics used in the Manchester Arena bombing in the United Kingdom.

Officials say the suicide bomber detonated a device outside the Ariana Grande concert Monday, killing 22 people and injuring dozens.

Security analysts say that considering the way the attack played out, almost any event space could be a target.

“The suicide bombers are not able to gain physical access into the building, so they end up using a higher yield explosive device and then detonate outside,” says Rutgers political science professor Wojtek Wolfe.

Wolfe says that every street around every event space can't be closed and made a hard target, and that is a circumstance terrorists want to exploit.

At Newark's Prudential Center, many events do see the police close roads, direct traffic and manage crowds before and after events. That type of security presence could make a difference in dealing with situations.

“For venues in New Jersey and venues in the tri-state area, this is an opportunity to review their security protocols and make sure that everyone is trained and updated on existing security protocols and in that process find our if there are any weak points,” Wolfe says.

New Jersey State Police say they will deploy troopers to harden up potential targets like event locations, tourist sites and ferry crossings in the wake of the attack.

Former Port Authority Police Chief of Counterterrorism Mike Valenti says concert venues like the Prudential Center and others have security that protects the venue.

“They have metal detectors, they protect the venue itself,” he says. “We have several different modes of attack so we have to evolve and we have to react to these different attacks and plans....so around a venue like this we have to take a different stance outside the event and there are tools to do that.”

Valenti says that soft targets with children are a worst-case scenario that could spur changes to security at many other types of venues.

“It’s hard to prevent that kind of an event. Let's face it, now that we're seeing more of those soft target events, there are going to be things done to prevent it,” he says.

Valenti says he believes that smaller venues should review and increase their security measures in the wake of the attack.

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