NYPD Beefs Up Security Around Synagogues
The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would be beefing up security at the city's synagogues and other Jewish sites for the Passover holiday, in the wake of the recent attack on a religious school in Toulouse, France.
According to The Associated Press, authorities have stressed that there have been no specific threats reported in the city for the holiday, which starts at sundown Friday.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was quoted as having said there would be heightened security and the deployment of heavily armed roving counterterrorism units.
“We’ll ensure that coverage is more than adequate in those neighborhoods, adding foot posts, visits by officers to synagogues, outreach by community affairs officers, and a heightened presence of anti-crime,” Kelly told a roomful of the city's Jewish leaders on Tuesday.
He added the security measures were not related to the investigation of an online mock movie poster which warns that the Al Qaeda terror group wants to return to New York City.
U.S. authorities are investigating the source of the poster, which warns that Al Qaeda wants to stage a repeat “performance” in New York City, where its terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in aerial attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
The graphic poster, apparently designed by an amateur, includes the words “Al Qaeda” and “Coming Soon Again in New York.” whose skyline at sunset is shown in the background. The poster also was seen on various Arabic language websites and extremist forums.
Kelly added that New York City faces constant threats from terror groups such as Al Qaeda and Hizbullah, as well as from so-called homegrown terrorists.
The NYPD dispatched extra patrols to more than 50 locations throughout New York last month, after Mohammed Merah killed four Jews in the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse.
There were no specific threats against New York then, either, but the department decided to take the measures as a precaution.
A decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, “we know that counterterrorism is now a permanent part of our mission,” AP quoted Kelly as having said at the briefing.