Feds step up security during Super Bowl LIV weekend

No specific or credible threats reported, feds say

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said that although there is “no specific or credible threat,” federal agents will be doing everything in their power to protect Super Bowl LIV fans in Miami-Dade County.

Federal agents know Hard Rock Stadium, the home of Sunday’s Super Bowl, in Miami Gardens, NFL events in downtown Miami and Miami Beach, and airports in South Florida are desirable targets.

“It is an extremely high-risk and iconic American event,” Wolf said during a news conference Thursday.

Agents are on the lookout for criminal activity, domestic violent extremists and foreign threats. They are also taking defensive measures for the possibility of an Iranian-backed revenge attack over the U.S. killing of top military commander Qassam Soleimani on Jan. 3 in Iraq.

“We are spreading out are assets to take care of business, not only at the Super Bowl, but at all those other locations as well,” said Todd Gayle, an air and marine team agent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Law enforcement officials say there is no credible threat for South Florida's Super Bowl, but they have released a threat assessment detailing some concerns.

On Wednesday, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said FAA no drone zone violations during the Super Bowl “will result in both civil and potential criminal penalties.”

The 2020 Miami Super Bowl LIV host committee is promoting the SaferWatch app to empower users to submit tips for law enforcement.

“I would say the things that you’re looking for in general is anybody whose behavior just seems out of the ordinary, anybody asking unusual questions about security or observing security procedures," said Cathy Lanier, the chief security officer for the NFL.

Massive, mobile X-ray machines are being deployed to Hard Rock Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LIV.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.