Proud moment for 2 top schools

Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School Principal Marty French (left) is decorated with a blue boa, courtesy of school music teacher Lisa Hamer, as the Berkeley County school announced Thursday that it won a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School Award.

Grace Beahm

EWING, N.J. -- The United States is safer now than it was when terrorists attacked New York and Washington 10 years ago, yet terrorism remains a significant threat, Tom Kean Sr., the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, said Friday

Earlier Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urged New Jerseyans to go ahead with their weekend plans as federal authorities pursue a new terrorism threat in New York or Washington before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Homeland Security chief Charlie McKenna said security had been beefed up ahead of Saturday's 9/11 ceremonies at Liberty State Park in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and Sunday's New York Jets-Dallas Cowboys football game at the Meadowlands. He told a meeting of Christie's cabinet on Friday morning in Princeton that New Jersey could be an attractive alternative for terrorists unable to strike heavily patrolled New York landmarks.

"New Jersey, with its proximity to New York and the amount of critical infrastructure here, presents many targets to a would-be terrorist," he said. "New York is there, we are here. We are, I think, an appetizing alternative target to terrorists who may want to hit Times Square but Times Square is too busy, too many police, so they come to New Jersey where they can wreak some havoc."

Kean, who served two terms as governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990, said he's most concerned about homegrown terrorists with less grandiose plans than attacking the World Trade Center or Pentagon.

"The scariest thing to me is they've been able to recruit over the Internet," Kean said, "so we now have to worry about people who may have American passports and may be American citizens as part of that threat."

Kean's made his comments Friday to law enforcement officers at a state police regional operations center in Ewing, N.J.