New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton rushed to downplay the newly released ISIS video warning of an attack against the Big Apple, reassuring the public that there is no imminent threat.
Flanked by Commissioner Bratton and John Miller is the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism of the NYPD, the mayor addressed the media Wednesday at Times Square, which was featured in the slick new ISIS clip released in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
The footage features shots of yellow taxis and crowds in Times Square and Herald Square in Manhattan, with vibrant French music playing in the background.
It then cuts to a man wrapping a bomb around his waist before walking into the crowds and pulling the trigger.
De Blasio urged New Yorkers to go about their normal lives and stated that the city will not be cowed by Islamist extremists.
‘The people of New York City will not be intimidated,’ he said during the late-night press conference. ‘We understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society. We will not submit to their wishes.
De Blasio later added: ‘It’s important to note there is no credible and specific threat against New York City.
‘So it’s critical that people go about their normal business, recognizing the NYPD is providing extraordinary protection to the people of the city.’
De Blasio added that this week, NYPD has activated its new Critical Response Command, which will grow to more than 500 officers dedicated to anti-terrorism activities.
‘So the people of New York City can rest assured that extraordinary efforts are being made every single day to keep them safe,’ the mayor told reporters assembled at Times Square. ‘This is the finest police force in the nation. For 14 years since 9/11, this police force has consistently protected this city.’
Commissioner Bratton sounded a similar note during his appearance on CBS This morning Thursday, dismissing the ISIS video as ‘nothing new’ and ‘been there, done that.’
‘It appears to be a very hastily produced document that contains previously viewed video,’ he said. ‘It really didn’t change our stance at all. We’re constantly up and prepared.’
Bratton revealed that NYPD currently has detectives on the ground in Paris learning from their French counterparts’ response to the multiple attacks.
Bratton also said that the goal of extremists is to inspire sympathizers to carry out attacks, but he noted that NYPD is prepared to respond to any threat.
In response to Gail King’s question about New Yorkers’ growing safety concerns, especially in light of next week’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Bratton said he plans to attend at the annual event with his family.
Earlier, New York police have issued a statement to say they were aware of the ISIS video.
They added that there is no direct threat to the city but insist there is a ‘heightened state of vigilance’.
‘In addition, we are continuing to deploy additional Critical Response Command (CRC) teams throughout the City, out of an abundance of caution,’ Stephen Davis, a Deputy NYPD Commissioner, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk