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Security Scare Closes New York Bridge

NEW YORK - Police shut down an East River Bridge for about 2 1/2 hours Friday morning after workers spotted men in a restricted area. Turns out they weren't terrorists, the mayor said, just three "stupid" men who were "sitting around drinking."

Two men from Massachusetts and a third from Rhode Island were being questioned at a nearby stationhouse Friday morning.

The Williamsburg Bridge, one of three that connect Manhattan and Brooklyn, was closed in both directions after 8 a.m., backing up traffic on both sides. It was reopened at about 10:30 a.m.

"What it really was was three guys who apparently got into someplace they shouldn't. They were just sitting around drinking, so there was no threat," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "These three guys are in trouble and they certainly inconvenienced a lot of people."

The mayor said the situation showed that the city's heightened response to potential terrorist attacks is effective.

"In the end, we did what we were supposed to do," Bloomberg said. "Operation Atlas has been implemented. It works. We are on top of things.

"It's also true you shouldn't be going on the Williamsburg Bridge, breaking into someplace you shouldn't be, and drinking. How stupid can you be?"

Police also checked other bridges, but they remained open.

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