"When I looked at my phone it said there's a threat, a terrorist at Pier 39 and I'm like, "oh my gosh, we're here," said Tricia Johnson, who is visiting from the Central Valley.
She didn't let the news change her plans to return to Pier 39 with her friend for more fun.
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"You can't get rattled when things like this happen. This is our country. This is America," said Stephanie Bender.
FBI agents say 26 year old Everitt Aaron Jameson, an ex-Marine planned to stage the attack around Christmas. He's in jail.
Some visitors noticed coast guard patrols and more security staff.
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There are inherent dangers in everything we do, but I trust in the security I've seen around here," said Pier 39 visitor Doug Thrasher.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Jameson had radical jihadi beliefs and social media posts that supported terrorism. His family members in Modesto are in shock.
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"I can't explain it any other way it's not my nephew they're talking about," said Jameson's aunt.
Online is where an FBI agent was alerted by Jameson's dialogue.
A big take away investigators hope others online take notice to this kind of radicalism.
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"Even though this was an FBI informant that alerted the FBI, this kind of tip could have came from anybody in the public," former FBI counter-terrorism expert Steve Gomez said.
"Life goes on but it certainly begs a good deal more caution and introspection than it has in previous decades," said Thrasher
Jameson has a hearing scheduled for January 5. His attorney says his client will plead not guilty to any charges against him.
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