NEW YORK — It’s been almost 20 years since the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City and deadly violence in Afghanistan Thursday spurred concerns about threats in the five boroughs, but Mayor Bill de Blasio assured New Yorkers there was no current threat to the city.
Earlier in August, the Department of Homeland Security warned that the upcoming commemoration of 9/11 as well as approaching religious holidays could inspire extremist attacks. Thursday’s Kabul airport attack killed at least 60 Afghans and 12 U.S. troops, Afghan and U.S. officials said.
“We are watching that very closely,” de Blasio said. “We do not have a specific and credible threat directed at New York City right now. But we are watching closely and obviously our counter-terrorism apparatus can move very quickly if we see anything of direct concern to us.”
Sal Lifrieri, the president of Protective Countermeasures, Inc., said if there was a threat, the city is in good hands.
“The NYPD has a phenomenal capability in their intelligence division — probably one of the best intelligence operations in the world,” he said.
Lifrieri is retired from the department and has a background in intelligence.
“I think security this year is going to be stepped up based on exactly what’s going on in Afghanistan,” in addition to 9/11 remembrances for this milestone year.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s killings on its Amaq news channel. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz and condemned the attack.