After Istanbul attack, security stepped up at US airports for holiday

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U.S. Officials on High Alert Following Latest Airport Attack

With U.S intelligence increasingly confident that the Istanbul airport attack was the work of ISIS, officials are stepping up security at American airports — some concerned about possible plots coinciding with the Fourth of July holiday and the Muslim Ramadan holiday, others seeking to reassure travelers with a visible show of force.

SEE ALSO: Law that sparked national outrage may be amended

ISIS has specifically called for more attacks on the West during Ramadan — which marks its holiest day, the Night of Power, on July 2 and which ends July 5. Officials are concerned that after battlefield setbacks in Syria and Iraq, the terror group is more determined than ever to attack inside the U.S.

See images from the tragic incident:

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Ataturk airport attack in Istanbul
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Ataturk airport attack in Istanbul
An entrance of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after explosions, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing at least 10 people and wounding around 20 others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. (DHA via AP) 
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY AND DEATH Forensic experts work outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
People phone and wait with their luggage outside the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 28 people and injured 20. All flights at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport were suspended on June 28, 2016 after a suicide attack left at least 10 people dead and 20 others wounded, Turkish television stations reported. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish police officers stand outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, late Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel) TURKEY OUT
Bodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency. 
Medics and security members work at the entrance of the Ataturk Airport after explosions in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (IHA via AP) 
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
This picture obtained from the Ilhas News Agency shows ambulances and police intervening next to injured people lying on the ground, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carries his daughter outside as people leave the airport after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers wait with their luggage outside the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 10 people and injured 20. All flights at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport were suspended on June 28, 2016 after a suicide attack left at least 10 people dead and 20 others wounded, Turkish television stations reported. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture obtained from the Ilhas News Agency shows emergency workers caring for an injured woman lying on the ground, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / ILHAS NEWS AGENCY / - / Turkey OUT (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (Ismail Coskun, IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
Bodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 28: Police blocks the entrance of the Ataturk International Airport after an explosion, in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. Unspecified number of injured in explosion at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. (Photo by Veli Gurgah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An injured person sits in an ambulance outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding scores of others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fired at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Officials walk inside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY AND DEATHBodies are seen outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
In this image taken from DHA TV, a police cordon is set up outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday June 28, 2016. Two explosions rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening, according to a Turkish official. (DHA TV via AP)
In this image taken from DHA TV, a police cordon is set up outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday June 28, 2016. Two explosions rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening, according to a Turkish official. (DHA TV via AP) TURKEY OUT.
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Paramedics help a man in a wheelchair at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 28: Entrance of the Ataturk International Airport after an explosion, in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. Unspecified number of injured in explosion at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. (Photo by Veli Gurgah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Paramedics push a stretcher at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Turkish rescue services gather outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing several people and wounding scores of others, Turkey's justice minister and another official said Tuesday. A Turkish official says two attackers have blown themselves up at the airport after police fire at them. The official said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Armed security walks at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A policeman gestures at an ambulance after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / People stand outside the entrance as they leave the airport after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Many relatives waiting for loved ones outside Ataturk Airport https://t.co/g7KISOS3vF
Atatürk havalimanında patlamalar silah sesleri https://t.co/EqAz8TUuLK
Hearing news about shootings and suicide bomb blasts at #Istanbul Ataturk International Airport. Ohh not again :( https://t.co/Mgpo3wVhtf
Turkish official says two explosions in Ataturk airport, multiple injuries
Atatürk hava limani bombali saldiri yapildi https://t.co/qWpnLX7sGk
Successive explosions occurred at entrance to the passenger terminal at #Ataturk International Airport in #Istanbul-possibly suicide bombers
#pts: Judging from pics, attack targeted #Ataturk’s International Terminal, which has pre-check-in security measures https://t.co/I4RlXj3kyz
Pictures circulating on Twitter are showing the devastation and panic in Istanbul Ataturk Airport https://t.co/D3XKXUbUv4
#SONDAKİKA! Atatürk Havalimanı'nda patlama... Yaralılar var... İşte ilk görüntüler https://t.co/NPG6labTAh
Heart hurts. #Turkey, stay strong. #Ataturk
CNN Turk just said 30 ambulances are at Istanbul Ataturk airport.
Injuries reported at the international terminal of Istanbul Ataturk Airport after an explosovia @140journos https://t.co/tvQKg1mYjs
Bombings confirmed to have occurred at #Ataturk International Arrivals/Departures terminal entrance. Suicide bombings increasingly likely
Photos and reports from Ataturk Airport look like 1st suicide bomber detonated outside checkpoint, opening way into terminal for 2nd bomber.
Turkish official: two suicide bombers detonated explosives at entrance of int'l terminal of Ataturk airport after police shot at them.
At least 10 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at Istanbul Ataturk airport: justice minister
Anyone who's ever been knows #Istanbul's Ataturk airport is extremely well protected. This is huge and required careful planning.
Flew through Ataturk airport over spring break. 6 layers of security between terminal doors and plane. How far out can perimeter go?
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The Transportation Security Administration has increased security at major U.S. airports, including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and Atlanta¹s Hartsfield-Jackson. That includes the deployment of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams — heavily armed officers, clad in body armor, who sometimes conduct random security sweeps and searches, law enforcement sources told NBC News.

But the TSA doesn't have enough personnel or enough bomb-sniffing dogs to cover every possible attack vector, sources said. In fact, the drop-off and pick-up areas in airports are among the many soft targets in the U.S. — from shopping malls to stadium parking lots — that are nearly impossible to protect from a concerted armed attack, officials said.

SEE ALSO: Ex-teacher aide in Md. indicted on 270 child sex charges

At Los Angeles International Airport, the Fourth of July weekend typically means a more visible security presence. But after the Turkey and Brussels airport attacks, common areas and choke points — such as the terminals and curbside at the departure and arrival areas — remain a concern and a challenge, law enforcement sources told NBC News.

At LAX, the terminals have been targets as far back as 1974, when Muharem Kurbegovic, the so-called Alphabet Bomber, left an explosive at LAX that killed three people and injured 36 others. More recently, in 2002, two people died and four were injured at the El Al ticket counter when gunman Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, walked into the Tom Bradley International Terminal and opened fire before being killed by security.

LAX was also a target of Ahmed Ressam, who told authorities after his arrest in Washington that he planned to detonate explosives at the airport on the eve of the Millennium 2000 celebrations.

Although they are aware of no specific, credible threat at LAX, law enforcement sources told NBC News that authorities were tracking a handful of individuals who could potentially pose a threat in Southern California. That is also happening in many other parts of the nation.

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