After Chattanooga attack, security at military recruiting centers scrutinized

ELIZABETH, N.J.-- There are hundreds of military recruiting offices across the nation that are like the one targeted by a gunman on Thursday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

On Thursday, a gunman, identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities a few miles apart, killing four Marines, officials said. Three others were injured. The gunman was killed at the scene.

Thursday's attacks in Chattanooga points up the particular challenge for the military. These recruiting centers, like one in Elizabeth, New Jersey, are designed to be very easy for the public to walk into, which is exactly what makes them easy targets.

While police presence is increased at high-profile centers like the one in New York's Times Square, the northern command has yet to issue a nationwide alert to increase security at all recruiting stations.

"We're continuing to look into this incident, working very closely with both federal and local law enforcement agencies to determine exactly what happened and if we need to make any adjustments," a Pentagon spokesman told CBS News.

NYPD released a statement stating that it has deployed an increased number of Critical Response Vehicles to provide additional coverage at military recruiting stations and other sensitive locations in the City of New York.

"While we have no specific information about any plot against the city, until we learn more about the attack we have placed additional officers in key locations," the statement read. "We have been in regular contact with Tennessee authorities, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the intelligence community."

The Elizabeth, N.J. recruiting station is right across the street from Union Country Court House where people have to pass through metal detectors to get inside. But, at the recruiting office in N.J., there are no metal detectors, which is exactly what the spokesman told CBS News they will be looking into.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.