U.S. Weighs Passport, Border Changes in Wake of Ottawa Attack

U.S. Weighs Passport, Border Changes in Wake of Ottawa Attack

Flowers and flags over a memorial at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is pictured at the National War Memorial, in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.  Canadians are mourning the loss of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the army reservist who was shot dead as he stood guard before the Tomb of the Unknown soldier on Wednesday.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Justin Tang)
Flowers and flags over a memorial at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is pictured at the National War Memorial, in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Canadians are mourning the loss of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the army reservist who was shot dead as he stood guard before the Tomb of the Unknown soldier on Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Justin Tang)

 

(Reuters) – U.S. officials are debating whether to tighten controls on the border with Canada and make it easier to revoke the passports of suspected militants, steps that could gain traction following two attacks in Canada this week.

The officials cautioned on Thursday that the discussions are in preliminary stages and that no immediate action appeared likely by either U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration or Congress.

While there was no specific evidence of a new threat in the United States, federal and state authorities were on a heightened state of alert following a gunman’s attack in Ottawa on Wednesday and another by an assailant in Quebec on Monday.

One official familiar with the matter said a main topic of discussion has been whether some northern border posts which are unmanned – but guarded by electronic sensors and alarms – should now be staffed with live personnel.

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