No credible threats in NYC ahead of Friday protests: Officials

"There is currently no intelligence showing any active threats in New York," said Hochul.

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, October 14, 2023
NYPD says no credible threats of terror on 'day of action' in NYC
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Lindsay Tuchman has the latest as Hamas is calling for worldwide protests Friday. Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul said there are "no credible or specific threats."

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Hamas is calling on their supporters to hold worldwide protests on Friday, but New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul said there are "no credible or specific threats" against the city ahead of those demonstrations.

During a press conference Thursday evening, Adams and Hochul stressed that safety of New Yorkers is of the utmost concern.

"New York City is the most diverse city in the world, and protecting our residents is the most sacred responsibility that we have," said Mayor Adams. "We have directed the NYPD to surge additional resources to schools, houses of worship to ensure they are safe and that our city remains a place of peace."

The department has cancelled vacations and instructed all members to show up in uniform, according to a message sent to the rank and file obtained by ABC News.

"All uniformed members of the service are to perform duty in the uniform of the day - effective immediately and until further notice, all uniformed members of the service, in every rank, will perform duty in the uniform of the day and be prepared for deployment," the message said.

Additionally, the MTA said there will be increased police presence in major transportation hubs and throughout the transit system on Friday. Not only will riders see more security, they will see more messages asking them to be alert.

Gov. Hochul said there will be active vigilance across not only the city, but also the state of New York.

"There is currently no intelligence showing any active threats in New York - that is the entire state of New York," said NY Gov. Hochul. "But in the moment fraught like this, we will continue to exercise elevated vigilance and impose measures to deteriorate any potential violence."

She said state police have been "fully activated" and the National Guard has been directed to patrol key transportation hubs.

"There's no reason to feel afraid," Hochul added.

Public schools are staying open Friday, with officials saying children will be safe there.

But some Jewish schools are choosing to close as a precaution, and some synagogues, and other houses of worship, will either have a larger security presence, or are opting to hold virtual Shabbat services Friday night instead.

Retired NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce says the NYPD is aware of geopolitics in order to keep civilians safe at this time.

Demonstrations throughout the week have been loud - at times, angry - but with no overt acts of violence.

But the potential for an attack by local Hamas sympathizers is something NYPD commanders cannot afford to ignore.

"We're trying to make sure that violence doesn't manifest on the streets of New York City," said Dep. Cmsr. Rebecca Weiner with the NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division.

Weiner says officers are monitoring online postings by radical groups-some of whom are calling for a "Day of Rage" Friday in support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

"We are deeply disturbed by the message of hate. It is not acceptable," Adams said during Thursday's briefing.

Large deployments of uniformed officers are already hitting the streets-with more taking up positions Friday.

"There's the part that you see, which involves a lot of officers, some of our counterterrorism officers, our Critical Response Command folks who are high visibility patrols, heavy weapons armed and trained responding to locations throughout the city, schools, houses of worship, sensitive locations," Weiner said. "And then there's the intelligence side, which is the part that you don't see-the online monitoring for threats and making sure that we can anticipate whether there's any reflection back to the city based on the overseas events."

Gov. Hochul called it a "personal choice" to pull children from religious schools or to skip synagogue Friday night in response to the call of pro-Palestinian protests.

"I understand the very human desire to protect your family and your kids," Hochul said. "With that information going on, it's something everybody will individually have to decide."

Meantime, there were three incidents in Brooklyn Wednesday night police are investigating as being possibly motivated by the war.

ABC News has confirmed that every major city police department in the U.S. is currently on a heightened state of alert monitoring the situation heading into Friday. Each department is working on its own plans on a case-by-case basis.

ALSO READ | How aid groups are responding to the Israel-Hamas war, and where to donate


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