The Department of Homeland Security is closely monitoring news out of the United Kingdom after an explosion outside a concert arena left 19 dead and dozens more injured.
The agency is also working with foreign counterparts to get additional information about the cause of the incident, agency spokesman David Lapan said Monday night.
Police investigators in northern England are still investigating the explosion, which happened right after a concert; terrorism is suspected. As a precaution, DHS warned that the public may see heightened U.S. security at similar public venues where there are large crowds — so-called “soft target” areas that terrorists increasingly pinpoint.
“At this time we have no information to indicate a specific threat involving music venues in the United States,” Lapan said. “However, the public may experience increased security around public places and events as officials take additional precautions.”
The agency also is encouraging U.S. citizens in the the Manchester area where the explosion happened to contact the U.S. embassy in London for assistance, if necessary, and follow State Department guidance.
“We stand ready to assist our friends and allies in the U.K. in all ways necessary as they investigate and recover from this incident,” Lapan said.
The explosion comes as DHS continues to mull whether to extend a ban on carrying large electronics on U.S.-bound flights to at least some airports in Europe and possibly elsewhere. The agency is meeting with officials from the U.K. and the European Union this week in Washington to discuss the issue.