Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell warned the public to “not let their guard down” on Tuesday in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Israel over the weekend, cautioning of potential lone-wolf threats in the Big Apple.
While NYPD brass have reported that New York City is not currently facing any credible threats of terrorist attacks following Hamas’ assault on Israel, both pro-Palestine and pro-Israeli protests are continuing to flood the city as police say they are monitoring social media and other communications for potential terrorist threats.
“We have to be high alert; we cannot let our guards down. We cannot believe that it happened thousands of miles away in Israel. We are the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, and we want our synagogues, our personnel to be extremely conscious,” Mayor Adams said at a question-and-answer press conference at City Hall on Oct. 10.
According to Chief Chell, the NYPD is attempting to mitigate any danger to the Jewish community by maintaining constant communications with religious leaders and setting up uniformed officers outside of houses of worship throughout the five boroughs, as well as security sweeps.
“The team was on the phone early morning coordinating our response, moving an incredible amount of resources to protect the Jewish community, all churches and religious institutions in the city,” Chief Chell said. “We are going to continue our posture with multiple layers of security for different types of religious institutions, whether it be cops standing in front of a church, whether it be safe corridors or perimeter searches of some key institutions.”
While both Adams and Chell underscored that New York is not reportedly under valid risk of attack from outside forces, Hizzoner did, however, warn of the risk of lone wolf attacks. The mayor told the public to stay vigilant, fearing the possibility that a citizen could become radicalized, conceivably through social media.
“This is definitely a moment where you don’t want your eyes living in your phones. You need to be conscious of your surroundings. This is a very heightened period right now,” Adams said. “Lone wolves are real and they can get radicalized online and they would carry out an action when a call is put out there to do something harmful. So, we must remain vigilant, but we need New Yorkers to be vigilant with us.”
This comes as the mayor continues to denounce pro-Palestine protests cropping up around the city and the NYPD endeavors to keep the thousands of enraged demonstrators from clashing while anger over the situation only intensifies. On Monday Assistant Commissioner Kaz Daughtry told amNewYork Metro in an exclusive interview that while police respect the rights of protesters, they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to clashes and violence.
Since the conflict began, cops have managed to mostly separate demonstrators, something Chief Chell says authorities will continue to maintain as tensions rise.
“We kept it as peaceful as we could. We’ll continue our posture. We had minimal incidents to report and we’re tracking all social media,” Chief Chell said. “We’ll be out there today, tomorrow and we’ll keep this going.”