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Friday, February 3, 2023


Oct. 8, 2001 — Hotel operators in the St. Thomas-St. John district were asked to step up security measures at their properties Monday morning after an unknown individual called the police emergency 911 system and threatened to blow up hotels.
The call was an apparent response to "Operation Enduring Freedom," the military action being led by the U.S. against Afghanistan.
Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said Monday that the organization received word of the threatening call from the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
"We were notified of the call and have asked hotels to step up their security awareness as a precaution," Nicholson said. She said the threat was taken seriously by the association. "I would want us to err on the side of caution … We found it necessary to take the threat seriously," she said.
Security measures could include logging all vehicles entering hotel properties, increased awareness among staff of any trespassers on the properties and random stopping of vehicles entering hotel complexes, Nicholson said.
Sources were quoted by WVWI Radio as saying the call to the 911 system was made in the pre-dawn hours Monday by a male caller who suggested that it was time to destroy hotels in the Virgin Islands. Law-enforcement sources were quoted as saying that contingents of police officers were making the rounds of the district's hotels to reassure guests, employees and hotel owners aware of the threat and caution them not to panic.
A caller to the station’s morning talk show "Topp Talk" said he was at the Palms Court Harborview Hotel when police entered and "began to evacuate the building."
Nicholson said she did not know whether similar action was taking place on St. Croix.
St. Croix Deputy Police Chief Novelle Francis said Monday afternoon that no threats had been called in to 911 on that island.
"Everything is status quo on St. Croix," Francis said.

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