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Attorney General Loretta Lynch Delivers Statement On Paris Attacks


We're going to speak now with NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. She's been reaching out to law enforcement officials here in the U.S. And, Carrie, to begin, what are you hearing from the FBI or Homeland Security about the events in Paris?

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Audie, first of all, Attorney General Loretta Lynch who leads the Justice Department and the FBI has put out a statement saying the U.S. stands in solidarity with France and calls this a devastating attack on our shared values. Attorney General Lynch has promised to commit every resource she can to assist the French. And the FBI and the DHS are also saying this - that they're closely monitoring the situation in France. They're in touch with counterparts there, but they see at this stage no specific or credible threats of this kind to the U.S. That said, they're collecting a lot of information. They're sharing it with state and local partners, and the FBI says they're evaluating the kind of protection that they're offering to federal buildings here in the United States as well.

CORNISH: You mention federal buildings; that makes me want to ask about Congress. Have you heard any response from key members of Congress who were involved in national security?

JOHNSON: Well, Audie, as somebody who covered Congress, you know that they often do not speak with a unified voice. But tonight, senior members of the House and Senate intelligence committees both Democrats and Republicans are standing together on this issue at least. Chairman Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas who leads the House Homeland Security Committee, says we have to remain vigilant here. We have to prevent it against attacks, but we are standing firm with France as does Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat in the Senate on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Devin Nunes who leads the House, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a Republican, also says this attack fulfills in some ways the worst fears of the threat in Europe that has been heightened all year long and this was just a tragic demonstration of that.

CORNISH: Carrie, you talked to us about federal domestic security agencies. We understand that U.S. authorities say there's no specific threat here in the U.S. Can you tell us anything about maybe big city police departments? Are there still local security agencies that think they need to take precautions?

JOHNSON: Yeah, for sure. Sadly, we've seen too many of these episodes both here in the U.S. and around the world now for local police to not take note of them. In fact, very quickly after the scope of this attack became - or these attacks became known authorities in Boston, Los Angeles and New York all said that they were going to be putting out or deploying more police on the streets in response to the situation in France. And interestingly enough, Audie, here in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, the local police chief has fanned out additional patrols around French-owned buildings not just government buildings, but maybe other buildings, private businesses with ties to France as well.

CORNISH: That's NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson talking to us about the response from the FBI, Homeland Security and others. Carrie, thanks so much.

JOHNSON: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Carrie Johnson is a justice correspondent for the Washington Desk.