It was the kind of security detail you’d expect from a presidential visit, not for the reunion of the Brothers of Destruction.
But with the WWE Survivor Series, held Sunday night at Philips Arena, allegedly targeted for attack by ISIS, city officials took no chances — even after the FBI said the threat was likely bogus.
In an emailed statement, Mayor Kasim Reed said he decided to open the city’s Joint Operations center “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Over the past week, the City of Atlanta has increased security for all operations, including at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Atlanta Streetcar and for major public events,” Reed said.
The lines to get inside Philips were twice as long as usual, extending well into the neighboring CNN Center, said fan Duane Sammons.
He said there was a major police presence around the arena and described the security inside as “substantial.”
But ticket-holders seemed to take it in stride, “jokingly making plans if something were to go down,” said Sammons, of Cumming.
The WWE event was said to be targeted by the Islamic State, along with events in Paris, Rome, Indonesia, Italy and Lebanon. The revelation came Saturday from by a group said to be a subset of Anonymous, which said they uncovered the threats from social media accounts affiliated with ISIS.
“There will be big events worldwide on the 22nd, go at your own risk,” the post said.
An FBI spokesman said the agency was taking the threat seriously but added it found no “specific or credible information of an attack at this time.”
Security was also enhanced at other local events this weekend, including the Falcons game earlier Sunday and the Macy’s Great Tree Lighting.
The mayor, in his statement, urged residents and visitors to “not let fear guide you.”
“Public safety remains my number one priority, and I am confident in our law enforcement agencies’ ability to keep us safe,” he said.
Wrestling fans appeared confident as well, with few empty seats visible Sunday night at Philips. And the crowd further expressed its defiance when, after the National Anthem, it broke out in a vibrant, prolonged “U-S-A-” chant, Sammons said.
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