NEW YORK (WABC) --Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City will not be intimidated by a newly released Islamic State group video showing images of Times Square, and that residents should continue to go to work and live their lives.
The video was released Wednesday, just a week before the city goes into full holiday mode with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade followed by the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. These and other events attract tens of millions of visitors each year.
"Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated," de Blasio said during a news conference Wednesday night. "New Yorkers won't live in fear and people should continue to go to work, live their lives, and enjoy the greatest city in the world."
The NYPD has added 500 officers with paramilitary training to work on counter terrorism efforts.
Ashley Christensen, visiting Times Square from Washington state Thursday, said "there's a lot of security and it's clear the NYPD are doing their job."
A New York Police Department spokesman said Wednesday that some of the video footage is old but it reaffirms the message that the city remains a top terrorist target.
"While there is no current or specific threat to the city at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community," said Stephen Davis, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the video appears to be a "hastily produced" one using old film footage.
"Be aware, but do not be afraid. The NYPD will protect you," Bratton said. "We cannot be intimidated, and that's what terrorists seek to do. They seek to create fear. They seek to intimidate. We will not be intimidated, and we will not live in fear."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that after the attacks in Paris he directed state agencies to "enhance their preparedness."
"Remember that the terrorists' goal is to let fear win - New Yorkers never have, and we never will," he said.
It's still pretty jarring for Sharon Newman, in from Bay Shore to see "The Big Apple Circus."
"Scary that they're standing there with guns like that," Newman said.
Celeste Mergens, from Washington state, said Thursday that, to her, Times Square feels safe. "Being here is an indicator that we can't choose to let terror end our lifestyle," she said.
NYPD issued this statement:
"We are aware of the newly-released ISIL video that mentions Times Square. While some of the video footage is not new, the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target. While there is no current or specific threat to the City at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community to keep the City of New York safe. In addition, we are continuing to deploy additional Critical Response Command (CRC) teams throughout the City, out of an abundance of caution."
"Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated. The NYPD is the most capable police force in the country, with a robust counterterrorism operation that was just strengthened with an investment of 500 additional officers. While Times Square and Herald Square appear in the video, the NYPD in conjunction with all of our partners are taking all necessary security precautions in these areas and areas across the City. New Yorkers won't live in fear and people should continue to go to work, live their lives, and enjoy the greatest city in the world," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a statement.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is on heightened alert and is stepping up its security measures.
"After the Paris attacks, I directed state agencies to enhance their preparedness out of an abundance of caution and remain in close contact with local and federal authorities, including the FBI and NYPD through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and that vigilance continues today," said Cuomo. "I encourage all New Yorkers to remain alert and report any suspicious activity, while at the same time not letting this disrupt their daily lives. Remember that the terrorists' goal is to let fear win - New Yorkers never have, and we never will."
The State's enhanced security measures include:
Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services
The DHSES Watch Center, as a precaution, has increased monitoring of various large public gatherings, including various sporting venues throughout the State.
State Police & National Guard
As a precaution, the State Police and National Guard have increased surveillance of critical infrastructure including transportation hubs and will be deploying additional resources to large public gatherings.
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Actions include increased patrols and checks of bags, buses, trucks and trains at agency locations. Travelers are reminded to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to police or other authorities.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- The MTA has increased its patrols and surveillance in order to provide heightened protection across all its agencies.
- The MTA Police Department has stepped up its uniformed and plainclothes presence in Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal as well as other major stations throughout the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road network.
- Police canine teams and units with heavy weapons will provide extra protection as well as a noticeable sign of increased security.
- Railroad customers will also see surge patrols, increased step-on/step-off patrols of trains, and random bag checks at various locations.
Congressman Peter King said he believes this is psychological warfare, and that it was put out to intimidate. He also reiterated that there are no current, credible threats against Washington DC or NYC.
Meanwhile, NYPD's Critical Response Command team is active across the city. About 100 officers are part of this team, which patrols critical infrastructure and sensitive locations. The number on this team will grow to 560 by the end of the year.
The increased security measures include heavily-armed officers and armored trucks. Officers with radiation detectors and bomb-detecting equipment have been deployed to subway stations, where they randomly conduct bag checks.
Police are asking New Yorkers to remain vigilant.
"This is not the kind of thing that is a wakeup call to New York City," Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said of the attacks in Paris, which left at least 129 people dead and 352 injured. "We've been awake about this for a long time."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department is sending a team to Paris this week to learn more about how the attacks were carried out.