NYPD beefs up security in wake of suspected London terror attack

WABC logo
Thursday, March 23, 2017
NYPD says no threats related to Britain attack
Diana Rocco reporting live

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD is ramping up security at several high-profile British targets in New York City, including the British Consulate and United Nations Mission, in the wake of a suspected terror attack in London.

On Wednesday, Britain's Parliament was on lockdown after a vehicle crashed on Westminster Bridge before an assailant stabbed a police officer to death and was subsequently shot. Four people, including the suspect, were killed.

London police are treating the incident "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise."

The response in New York City was described as routine following such an attack and not the result of any specific, credible threat to any potential target, according to the NYPD's chief spokesman Deputy Commissioner Steve Davis.

Many missions and consulates in New York are in giant anonymous office buildings. But Wednesday night, heavily armed NYPD counterterror cops took up at buildings where the United Kingdom rents office space. Namely, its consulate on Third Avenue in Midtown.

"I talk about what keeps me up at night. Used to be traditional crime, now a lot of it is terrorism," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

O'Neill ordered the deployments immediately after the attack in London Wednesday morning.

That all happened as an NYPD detective stationed in London, along with a British cop embedded with the NYPD, helped the department understand the threat in real time.

The attack, cops say, is identical to a plot laid out in a recent magazine published by ISIS.

"Which actually encourages individuals to drive into crowds of people, exit their vehicle with another weapon and then try to do an attack with that weapon," said Chief Thomas Galati, NYPD Intelligence Bureau.

"It's a free and open society, but what we've built our ability investigate, to prevent and God forbid to respond. We are a tremendous capacity right now," O'Neill said.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are monitoring the incident.

Here are photos of the scene in London:

1 of 27
A man is treated by emergency services, as a knife lays on the floor, outside the Houses of Parliament London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP