New York Deploys Counterterror Critical Response Command Following London Terror Spree

Officers from the NYPD anti-terror unit patrol Times Square, Friday Nov. 4, 2016, in New York. The FBI and New York Police Department say they are assessing the credibility of information they received of a possible al-Qaida terror attack against the U.S. on the eve of Election Day. Officials say …
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau has deployed its Critical Response Command unit and increased security throughout New York City following the multiple terrorist attacks late Saturday night in London.

The NYPD issued multiple statements on Twitter confirming the need for heightened security in America’s largest city following the attack in the British capital, while noting that police are not aware of any “specific and credible threats” to New York.

“We’re monitoring the situation in London and we’re in touch with British authorities,” New York Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald told reporters, according to Fox News. NBC New York adds that Governor Andrew Cuomo has confirmed that the state deployed officials to closely monitor potential terror targets within the city, with added security provided to “airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.”

New York City recently suffered a car ramming incident in Times Square; police identified the perpetrator in that case to be a mentally ill man and dismissed ties to radical Islamic groups.

On the west coast, San Diego’s police department also clarified that there was no specific threat to that city.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also published a statement late Saturday noting they are “working with our interagency partners and foreign counterparts to gain further insight into reported attacks against civilians on London Bridge and in the surrounding area.”

“U.S. citizens in the area should heed direction from local authorities and maintain security awareness.  We encourage any affected U.S. citizens who need assistance to contact the U.S. Embassy in London and follow Department of State guidance,” DHS suggested.

Fox News adds that it has received word from DHS officials that they “have no information to indicate a specific, credible terror threat in the United States.”

Late Saturday night, a yet-unidentified terrorist drove a white van onto London Bridge and began running into crowds, attempting to run as many people on the bridge over as possible. Eyewitnesses say that, following the car attack, several other men ran into the street attempting to stab and kill as many people as possible. Some testified to seeing victims with throats cut. At least one eyewitness heard the attackers shout “this is for Allah.”

London police told reporters at least nine people, including three attackers, have been declared dead so far.

The UK’s Metropolitan Police has confirmed the incident was a terrorist attack:

The event occurs during the second week of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, in which Muslims are called to fast every day from sunrise to sunset. For jihadists, committing acts of jihad while fasting guarantees greater riches in the afterlife. Shortly following the beginning of this year’s Ramadan, Islamic State terrorists published a message urging supporters to attack and kill “infidels” in an “all-out war.”

“Your targeting of the so-called innocents and civilians is beloved by us and the most effective, so go forth and may you get a great reward or martyrdom in Ramadan,” The ISIS message read.

 

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