New York officials are reassuring residents once again after ISIS released a video on Wednesday that suggests it’s planning Paris-style attacks around the city. The video shows a man zipping his jacket over a suicide belt and holding a grenade, intercut with images of the TGI Fridays in Times Square and the Gap in Herald Square. Other sections feature ISIS fighters and a small child praising the Paris attackers and promising to carry out more strikes on Western targets. “And we announce to you, Arab and non-Arab tyrants alike, that we will sadden you … we will destroy your thrones and we will crush you with the permission of Allah,” says a masked man, according to the Daily News.
An NYPD spokesperson said there is “no current or specific threat” against the city, but “we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance.” Over the weekend NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said police will undergo more training on how to respond to situations like the one in Paris, and counterterrorism units have been deployed across the city.
On Wednesday night, Mayor de Blasio added that the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies are taking “all necessary security precautions” to secure the city. “Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated,” he said. “New Yorkers won’t live in fear and people should continue to go to work, live their lives, and enjoy the greatest city in the world.”
The FBI said it’s investigating potential ISIS threats to New York, and SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant groups, told Reuters that the footage from around the city was pulled from a video ISIS released in April. “So while NYC is and has been a target for ISIS, today’s video does not warrant any kind of panic,” said SITE director Rita Katz.
On Monday, ISIS released a video vowing retaliation on all of the countries conducting airstrikes against them in Syria. Tonight a U.S. official told the Washington Post that in recent weeks the U.S. has been conducting drone strikes against ISIS operatives planning terrorist attacks in the U.S.“There were networks of folks in Raqqa endeavoring to conduct similar attacks in the U.S. We killed most of them,” the official said.