London terror attack highlights soft targets in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Counter-terrorism officials in the Bay Area say they process more than 1,000 reported threats each year, but the vast majority turns out to be dead ends.

But, Wednesday's attack in London highlights the very real concern over soft targets in the Bay Area.

"In the U.K., they are trying to make attribution as we speak, meaning who did it and what was the motive for that attack. That has not changed our posture here," Assistant Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair told ABC7.

The FBI's head of counter-terrorism operations for the bay area says the attack in London has not increased the alert level here. Fair says they are always vigilant for these low-tech attacks.

"By any means necessary is what we're seeing these days and that continues to be the trend," Fair said.

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This simple type of attack using an SUV and a knife is a serious threat around the world and right here, in the bay area. Just last summer ISIS put out a video naming the golden gate bridge and financial district as possible targets.

San Francisco's tourist attractions, wide sidewalks, and sporting events are also what the FBI calls potential soft targets for a terrorist.

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Witnesses reported a violent incident at the Westminster Bridge near the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday.

"A soft target can be found in any community or major city where it's not hardened by any kind of security features, security personnel or there typically is not some type of armed presence," Fair said.

The FBI says there is little anyone can do to stop a terrorist running down people in a car or truck as has been seen several times in recent months. But, fair says the objective is to get ahead of the threat.

"We are relying on all members of our communities to let us know if there's a potential act of terror."

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