Security heightened across NYC in wake of Brussels attacks

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NEW YORK — Security will be heightened across New York City at major transit hubs, airports and iconic spaces following fatal terror attacks in Belgium, officials said Tuesday.

There is no known terror threat to the city, police said. Still, the city's police force is beefing up security at strategic locations and employing unformed and non-uniformed officers to do so while it continues to monitor the situation in Brussels, the source said.

"Until we learn more, the department has deployed additional counterterrorism resources across the city," the department said in a statement, adding that those officers will be focusing on crowded areas and transit locations across the city "out of an abundance of caution."

Security also will be increased along the PATH system and at the World Trade Center, according to a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"We are added high-visibility anti-terrorist patrols" to those areas, the spokesman said.

Port Authority police will step up their presence at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports, the spokesman said.

Some 400 members of the National Guard are stationed in the New York City area and more are coming to help patrol transit hubs and airports, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Two explosions Tuesday morning rocked Brussels' Zavantem airport, officials said. A third blast struck in the city's Maelbeek metro station. A Belgian federal prosecutor said at least one of the blasts at the airport was probably caused by a suicide bomber.

Authorities said there are dead at both sites and while the death toll has been fluctuating, it appears to be in the dozens.

New Yorkers are urged to turn their "fear into healthy awareness," Diego Rodriguez, FBI assistant director in charge of the New York field office, said at an 11 a.m. news conference.

Law enforcement's increased presence in NYC comes just as the MTA re-launched its "See Something, Say Something" campaign that it started after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bus, subway and train riders are urged to be on the lookout for the following, according to the MTA: unattended packages, suspicious behavior, people in bulky or inappropriate clothing, exposed wiring or other irregularities, anyone tampering with surveillance cameras or entering unauthorized areas.

Tips or suspicion can be reported to a police officer or MTA employee, or by calling 888-NYC-SAFE (888-692-7233) or 866-SAFE-NYS (866-723-3697).

In their statement announcing increased patrols, NYPD said the attacks in Brussels and their implications in the five boroughs are evidence that proposed funding cuts, worth about $90 million, targeting anti-terror programs in the city are against the public's best interest.

"Any cut in terrorism funding to New York—to what is widely recognized as the nation’s top terror target—would be irresponsible," the department said.

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