Top federal, state, and city officials said late Friday that there was still no “specific, credible” terror threat against New York City as it prepared to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas delivered the message with Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio outside the New York Police Department (NYPD) headquarters, a few blocks from where the World Trade Center attacks took place.
“There is no specific, credible threat to the homeland arising from any terrorist organisation or terrorist individual.
“We work together to ensure that we are watching the flow of information very carefully, not just domestically, but around the world,” Mayorkas said.
Mayorkas spoke from 1 Police Plaza after emerging from a security briefing with Hochul, de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
NYPD and Port Authority Police Department plan to deploy officers armed with assault rifles, bomb-sniffing dogs and plainclothes cops, not just downtown where many of the solemn day’s events will take place, but throughout the city.
And while no specific or credible threats have been identified, law enforcement will be on high alert.
“We have identified this as a vulnerable weekend.
“You’ll see more people. You’ll see individuals with long arms. You’ll see them looking a little bit militarised.
“But the idea is to let anyone know that you mess with New York, there’ll be consequences,” Hochul said.
She added that she came away from the briefing “confident” of the city’s safety Saturday.
“We’ll be able to handle the events of this weekend and welcome people from around the world who come to this place of reflection,” she said.
Commissioner Shea said he “absolutely” guarantees the safety of the city on 9/11, but stressed everyday New Yorkers’ “shared responsibility” in protecting it, invoking a variation of the often used, post-9/11 refrain: “If you see something, this is a team effort.”
“This isn’t about the NYPD. It’s the New York Police Department. It’s the state police. It’s our federal partners. It’s our local partners. But most importantly, it’s about you,” he said.
“We need anyone who has any information or sees something out of the ordinary,” he added. (tca/dpa/NAN)