NYC Maintains Heightened Security After Bin Laden Death


nypdWhile Mayor Bloomberg says there’s no specific threat against the Big Apple after the death of Osama bin Laden, the NYPD was taking no chances. Bomb-sniffing dogs and officers carrying automatic rifles were patrolling transit hubs across the city.

“I’m pretty scared about it. I think it’s a fairly high possibility, yes,” said Jill Fickling of Roosevelt Island.

Is the world safer now that Osama bin Laden is dead?

Definitely. He had the money and charisma to be an inspiration to those lunatics. Not anyone can fill those shoes.

No way. Murderous lunatics don’t need figureheads to follow. They’ll keep crawling out of the woodwork.

I’m not sure, but I’m sure glad he’s gone.

“I stop and think, you know, you always worry, you always got to look around and make sure. You know, you pay attention to what’s going on around you and then you hope for the best,” said Anthony Barbaro of Canarsie.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has no choice but to take a more pragmatic approach.

“We are certainly not taking any chances. Our assumption is that bin Laden’s disciples would like nothing better than to avenge his death,” he said.

There are other concerns, including a so-called “lone wolf” with no official terrorist group affiliation and the sheer number of available targets in our region, from train terminals, to tunnels, bridges, and our water supply.

“And the problem is we don’t know who these people are. We don’t know where they are and we don’t know when they’re going to strike us,” said security expert Bob Strang.

He pointed out a place like Grand Central Terminal, one of several possible targets under the watchful eye of the NYPD. Other targets include the tunnels underwater, the bridges spanning across and the train system underground. Also, there are symbols like the Statue of Liberty, or even our water supply.

“I mean there are 50 things, right within a few miles of New York City, that are potential targets for terrorists,” Strang said.

Or, as was the case one year ago with suspected terrorist Faisal Shahzad parking his bomb-laden SUV in Times Square, the target could simply be generic.

In the end, Strang said the best protection is the public on alert.

“If they’re on the train, if they’re in Penn Station or Grand Central, and they see something, they’ve got to tell somebody,” Strang said.

{1010 WINS/ Newscenter}