With the approach of New Year’s Eve 2015, New York’s Times Square is getting ready to drop the ball for 2016, but the NYPD is preparing in case American ISIS terror cells try to drop the bomb. While law enforcement officials say there is “no knowledge of a credible threat” from ISIS terrorists, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik says the terrorist threat in America is “very credible.” Even if the Islamic State, or Daesh as they are also known, does not threaten a Times Square bombing scare, security is being raised, and hundreds of officers will be patrolling the streets using rifles, bomb-sniffing dogs, and radiation detectors for dirty/nuclear bombs.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Russia plans on closing Moscow’s Red Square during the 2015 New Year’s Eve celebration. In addition, the city of Brussels, Belgium, canceled its New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration because they believe the threat of a terrorist attack is credible. Belgium authorities have made multiple arrests in recent weeks, giving the Belgians good reason to fear an attack similar to the Paris attacks, but Mr. Kerik believes the United States should not allow fears to guide action.
“Here’s the reality: The bad guys want us to shut down Times Square, the bad guys want us not to do the fireworks and all this other stuff,” he said, according to NewsMax. “The reality is if we live by their rules, we’ve got to hide in a bubble, and I’m not hiding in a bubble.”
Overall, when New York Times Square drops the ball, there will be more than 6,000 police officers watching over the crowds, which are expected to swell to over one million people. Kerik last served as commissioner shortly after the 9/11 attacks, but he says the amount of New York city security has about doubled.
“Fifteen years ago, that turnout was 3,000 to 3,500. Today it’s 6,000, maybe more,” Kerik said. “[Police forces] have equipment that we never had before that we didn’t have to use before. So they’re far better prepared than they were in the past.”
The reason for all the extra security is because of fear related to the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shooting, but Kerik believes we are “going to continue to see those types of attacks” so the United States needs to be prepared since there is a “credible threat on this country.” At the same time, Kerik believes it is impossible to prepare for every potential terrorist attack on American soil
“On 9/11, look, we had planned for everything under the sun: biochemical in the subways, sarin gas, West Nile virus,” he said. “Nobody ever anticipated that they’d fly these planes into the towers, but when they did, the response was already in place and that’s the kind of stuff that we have in New York City in the event that something happens in the Square.”
As another example, he noted how Tashfeen Malik, the female San Bernardino shooter, was supposed to be “investigated by everybody under the sun,” but she still managed to enter the United States despite the signs that she may be an Islamic radical.
Unfortunately, ISIS terror cells already exist inside America. A recently released study shows the members of ISIS in America who were arrested in 2015, and the threats seemed greatest in California, New York, and Minnesota based upon the number of successful arrests.
For example, the FBI arrested multiple members of ISIS in New Jersey, and they revealed plans for using homemade bombs to attack Times Square and the One World Trade Center during tonight’s celebrations. Another 2016 New Year’s Eve terrorist plot was also recently foiled, with NBC reporting that a 25-year-old Rochester man named Emanuel Lutchman was arrested for planning bombing attacks and a machete killing spree.
“New years [sic] is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,” an ISIS member in Syria allegedly told Lutchman.
The American ISIS supporter allegedly had hoped to impress his ISIS handlers by creating a pressure cooker bomb to explode during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“[T]hat’s what my plan, that’s on my mind, that’s all I been thinking about,” Lutchman said. “‘Cause I’m getting amped up, to accept the fact that’s what I gotta do.”
While this threat was stopped by the FBI, it is possible ISIS will try to convince others to carry out a New York Times Square attack.
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year’s Eve,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Adam Cohen. “The FBI remains concerned about people overseas who use the Internet to inspire people in the United States to commit acts of violence where they live.”
(Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)