The fourteenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks is hitting close to home, given the recent arrests of two college students from Mississippi who tried to join the group that calls itself the Islamic State. Rusty Barnes is the Homeland Security Director. He says key anniversaries like 9/11 can increase the risk of threats.
"Mississippi has a lot of critical infrastructure within our borders and boundaries. We especially take anniversaries and holidays serious because groups such as ISIS look to make a statement on such anniversaries holidays,' Barnes says.
Barnes says residents are encouraged to stay vigilant, and call authorities about any safety concerns.
"Any threat that we receive here in the state of Mississippi, we take it serious. No matter how minute you might think the bit of information may be, it could be part of a big puzzle that we are trying to put together here, in the state of Mississippi," says Barnes.
According to Barnes, terrorism has no profiles or demographics. He says any suspicious activity should be reported to local law enforcement agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, or the FBI.