Residents in Queens and throughout the city can expect to see an even greater police presence on the streets this weekend than originally planned for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks due to new threat information released by the federal government.
Information discovered during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden referred to the Islamist terror chieftain's desire to see the United States attacked again around the anniversary. And now the government has learned of a specific plot to explode a car or truck bomb in New York City, Washington, DC or both around the anniversary, national media report. The plan supposedly involves three terrorists, they said.
During a press conference held Thursday with Mayor Bloomberg and two federal law enforcement officials, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said officers will be manning vehicle checkpoints at locations throughout the city, towing more illegally parked cars than usual and searching more passengers' bags than usual in the subways.
The mayor said he had spoken with both Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder about the threat. The MTA is also heightening security in response, he said.
He noted that 13 terror plots against the city have been foiled in the 10 years since 9/11 — one of those targeted Kennedy International Airport while another was planned by a cell based in Flushing — and said residents should continue to go about their business.
"There is no reason for any of the rest of us to change anything in our daily routines. We have the best police department in the world," Bloomberg said. "Over the past decade, they have helped thwart more than a dozen potential attacks. Here’s what you’ve got to do: If you see something, say something and that has always been true, and over the next few days, we should all keep our eyes wide open.
“But the best thing that we can do to fight terror is to refuse to be intimidated by it. For 10 years, we have not allowed terrorists to intimidate us. We have lived our lives without fear — and we will continue to do so. So go about your business as you normally would — but just be vigilant. If you see something potentially suspicious, call 311. And if you see something that you think is potentially dangerous, call 911."
A transcript of the mayor's address is available at on.nyc.gov/nE0H1a.