New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the metropolitan area remains under threat of terrorist attack, and that commuters will see an increased security presence in the city and at transit points as a result.
Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie earlier this month asked their Homeland Security advisors and state police superintendents to review safety and security procedures “in light of the undeniable heightening of terrorist activity and increased tensions between American and terrorist networks.”
The review came after Cuomo, Christie and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and promised to pool resources and share information to protect the region against a terrorist attack.
“Nobody feels we have nothing to worry about,” Christie said today.
Cuomo’s remarks today came during a press conference in Manhattan with Christie. U.S security officials yesterday warned federal and local police to watch for “homegrown violent extremists” who may be motivated to retaliate for U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint intelligence bulletin in which they said the strikes “may have temporarily disrupted attack plotting” by the Khorasan group, a militant network that includes former members of al-Qaeda.
New York City police stepped up surveillance of Wall Street, Times Square, subways and train stations last week before the start of the Jewish New Year and the United Nations General Assembly.
Increased deployment of police augmented by National Guard troops in camouflage at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Pennsylvania Station are just some of the visible manifestations of heightened security. Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Davis said Sept. 18 that while there was no evidence of a specific threat, the NYPD had a duty to respond to concerns stemming from warnings on social media by the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS.
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton told Jewish leaders in a security briefing last week that officers and tactical squads will be deployed at synagogues tomorrow and Sept. 26 for Rosh Hashana. The heightened alert will remain in place through the end of the month during the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Similar measures have been in effect since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Among the NYPD’s 35,000 officers in uniform, 1,000 are dedicated to counter-terrorism, and each has received annual training in detection, deterrence and response to a catastrophic terrorist attack ever since almost 3,000 died in the Sept. 11 assault on the World Trade Center.
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