Wednesday, September 7, 2011
During 9/11 anniversary, NYPD ramping up security around New York City
All eyes will be on Ground Zero for 9/11 ceremonies, but heavily armed officers will be posted at other potential targets as well, the city's top cop said Wednesday.
"We don't presume Ground Zero alone is a potential target," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told a Manhattan Institute conference on terrorism.
"That would be short-sighted. We'll be staging quick reaction forces outside of lower Manhattan to respond to any emergency."
Emergency Services officers will be supplemented by cops trained to use heavy weapons after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
"Bomb squad officers and hostage negotiators will also be attached to these quick reaction groups, as will highway patrol officers to ensure these teams can get to any point in the city as quickly as possible," Kelly said.
A police source said two teams of these cops will be in place by the United Nations and near one of the bridges leading to an outer borough.
Kelly also cited specific terrorism cases to fire back at criticism that the NYPD illegally spies on Muslims.
"Would we put an undercover officer in an Islamic bookstore?" he asked. "Yes - if that's what was required to defeat a homegrown terrorist like Matin Siraj from plotting to bomb the Herald Square subway station."
Siraj is serving 30 years in prison for the 2004 plot, which was broken up on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
Documents found in Osama Bin Laden's compound after he was killed showed he had urged his followers to attack on Sept. 11. No credible information about an attack has surfaced since then, Kelly said police are not taking any chances:
* Ground Zero will be surrounded by a frozen zone, from West St. to Broadway, and from Murray St. to Albany St.
* Thousands of cops will be on duty, including cops equipped with radiation detectors and sniper rifles.
* Scores of cops will be assigned to the subway system, especially at Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and Herald Square.
* NYPD scuba divers will exam the outer shell of the U.S.S. New York when it docks on West 48th St. Thursday. The warship is made of steel from the World Trade Center.
* The U.S. Open will remain heavily manned until its final match on Sept. 11.