NEW YORK (WABC) --New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is responding to news that the leader of the insurgent group currently advancing on major cities in Iraq made specific reference to New York City five years ago.
His name is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and he made the chilling remarks during his release of a U.S. detention camp in 2009. He wasn't considered much of a threat at the time, but now he is being called a true heir to Osama bin Laden.
De Blasio assured city residents that authorities are constantly vigilant against any terror threat posed by recent violence in Iraq.
"We are quite aware of the statements that he's made, we're quite aware of the growth of this organization, and it's something that I talked to (NYPD) Commissioner (William) Bratton about regularly," he said. "And when it's appropriate to talk to our federal partners, we do. But rest assured, we are quite vigilant in this situation."
The mayor says city leaders are aware of the threats made and that New York continues to be the number one terrorist target in the world.
Since 9/11, the NYPD has increased its anti-terror unit, and
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has already captured a pair of major Iraq cities and is threatening its capital.
A U.S. official said this week that its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, said "I'll see you guys in New York" when released in 2009.
There has not been a specific recent threat made against New York.