Cops out in force for terror threat, U.N. meeting
It’s all hands on deck this week for the NYPD, as a heightened terror alert connected with an alleged bomb plot, combined with the president’s visit to the U.N. general assembly and a rash of protests against world leaders is creating a security headache.
“There’s no days off,” Roy Richter, president of the police captains’ union, said Tuesday, referring to the police department. “The resources, of course, are strained.”
Another union official, Thomas Sullivan, who represents NYPD lieutenants, noted that extra patrols have also been deployed because of the Jewish holidays.
“There’s a lot of sensitive areas that have to be covered,” he said. “There will be a greater police presence.”
The MTA said Tuesday it has beefed up its police presence at “key locations” because of the terror plot, which law enforcement officials told the Associated Press may have involved detonating backpack bombs on the city’s trains.
Counterterrorism officials yesterday raided several city apartments as part of its probe. Published reports also quoted sources close to the investigation saying 16 to 20 people are under surveillance in the city.
On Saturday, three people - one in Queens and two in Denver - were charged with lying to the FBI in connection with the same investigation.
The FBI is also telling cops to be on the lookout for signs of bomb-making at self-storage facilities.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly would not comment on the specifics of the probe but said: “There's a lot more work to be done.”Security bulletins to police around the country have described terrorists' desire to attack stadiums, entertainment complexes and hotels. A joint statement from the federal Department Homeland Security and the FBI said while the agencies "have no information regarding the timing, location or target of any planned attack, we believe it is prudent to raise the security awareness of our local law enforcement partners regarding the targets and tactics of previous terrorist activity." In the city, rallies protesting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be held Wednesday and Thursday in front of the country’s mission and near the U.N. A rally is also being held today in protest of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi near the U.N. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at Wednesday's opening of the general assembly about nuclear nonproliferation, peacekeeping, development and climate change. Gadhafi, making his first visit to the U.N. despite 40 years as the country’s ruler, will speak right after.
The AP and Emily Ngo contributed to this story