PAPD with heavy weapons at New York City-area airports; Brussels airport shut down

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N.J. Burkett is live at JFK with the latest details.

More than 200 flights to Brussels were diverted or canceled after three explosions that authorities are calling terror attacks.

Dozens of people were killed in two explosions that hit Brussels airport Tuesday morning and a third that rocked the city's Maelbeek metro station.

The Brussels airport has been shut down and will remain so through Wednesday, and airport security has been tightened across Europe and the world.

At Kennedy Airport, Port Authority police moved quickly to secure the terminals with attack dogs and officers in body armor with automatic weapons, as the New York National Guard stepped up patrols on the arrival and departure levels at the international arrivals building.

"Police are looking for anomalies. They're looking for people who don't act right, they're looking for people who look very nervous," said former FBI agent Richard Frankel.

Frequent fliers we spoke with said the biggest difference they noticed is that immigration officers are asking more detailed questions of arriving passengers.

Most international airports are more secure now than they've ever been. But experts say the Belgian bombers were able to carry out their attack by targeting the weakest link.

"In this case terrorists took advantage of the fact there is not security on the exterior of the airport and there are areas, even in aviation, that are not totally secure," said Matthew Horace of FJC Security Services.

A bill in Congress is intended to expand secure zones in U.S. airports, making it more difficult to carry out a Belgian-style attack.

Locally, Port Authority police moved quickly to secure the terminals with attack dogs and officers in body armor with automatic weapons, while the New York national guard stepped up patrols on the arrival and departure levels at the international arrivals building.

"Police are looking for anomalies," former FBI agent Richard Frankel said. "They're looking for people who don't act right, they're looking for people who look very nervous."

Frequent fliers said the biggest difference they noticed is that Immigration and Customs officers were asking more detailed questions of arriving passengers.

Most international airports are more secure now than they've ever been, but experts say the Belgian bombers were able to carry out their attack by targeting the weakest link.

"In this case, terrorists took advantage of the fact there is not security on the exterior of the airport," said Matthew Horace, of FJC Security Services. "And there are areas, even in aviation, that are not totally secure."

A bill in Congress is intended to expand secure zones in US airports, making it more difficult to carry out a Belgian-style attack.

--The Port Authority Police Department is stepping up security at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark with heavy weapons. It also is using high visibility anti-terrorist patrols at the PATH and World Trade Center.

--The New York National Guard this morning activated its quick reaction force from Fort Hamilton to provide additional security detail at JFK International Airport. The National Guard has 400 service members on duty today in the NYC area. The Guard is adding an additional service members to transportation infrastructure hubs downstate, including JFK and LaGuardia airports.

--There are several direct flights from JFK airport to Brussels, operated by Delta Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Asiana Airlines. United flies a direct flight from Newark to Brussels. All flights to and from Brussels International have been suspended until further notice.

--American Airlines in a statement said all of its employees have been accounted for. "We are aware of an incident at the Brussels airport departure hall and are taking care of our customers, employees and contractors," the airline said in a statement. "When operations at the airport resume, we will reaccommodate our customers."

--United Airlines said all of its employees are safe and accounted for. United had two arrivals at Brussels International Airport Tuesday morning. Flight 950 from Washington Dulles arrived at 7:01 a.m. A second flight, flight 999 from Newark Liberty, was rerouted to a remote location.
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newsair travelbrussels attacksterror threatterrorismjfk international airport
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