LOS ANGELES, CA - Law enforcement agencies around Southern California are increasing patrols around entertainment studios in response to the failed car bombing in Times Square, which may have been targeting Viacom.
A depiction of Muhammad on "South Park" apparently enraged Muslims, whose religion forbids any image of their prophet. Viacom's Comedy Central produces the televised cartoon.
"New York is another wake-up call to us in the U.S.," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.
Baca said he was unaware of any new threats to the region, but his department was on heightened alert at Universal Studios and City Walk.
"We have an extensive awareness at Universal Studios. But we rely on the public substantially to spot anything unusual and report it," Baca said. "Large gatherings of people are among the most obvious targets."
Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler said his department was aware of the reports regarding Viacom.
"We continue to be vigilant when it comes to the MTV location," he said.
At Lions Gate and MTV offices in Santa Monica, there was stepped-up security in the form of uniformed guards, checking vehicle trunks and stopping visitors at a side entrance. One of the corporate garage entrances was closed to funnel traffic through a central inspection point.