FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG BRIEFS NEW YORKERS ON SECURITY THREAT WITH POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY, JANICE FEDARCYK OF THE FBI AND BRIAN PARR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered this evening at One Police Plaza follow:
“Good evening. Tonight I’m joined tonight by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Jan Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Office. Jan welcome to One Police Plaza and thank you for everything that you do for this country. We are also joined by Brian Parr, Special Agent in charge of [the United States Secret Service New York Field Office, which is part of] the Department of Homeland Security.
“And tonight, federal authorities, as you know, have announced that they’ve received credible information that terrorists may be plotting an attack in the coming days. Now as we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD, FBI, and the entire intelligence community have been on heightened alert – because we know that terrorists view the anniversary as an opportunity to strike again.
“Now the threat at this moment has not been corroborated – I want to stress that. It is credible, but it has not been corroborated. But we do live in a world where we must take these threats seriously, and we certainly will.
“The NYPD is deploying additional resources around the City and taking other steps to keep our city safe – some of which you may notice, and some of which you will not notice. But there is no reason for any of the rest of us to change anything in our daily routines. We have the best police department in the world. Over the past decade, they have helped thwart more than a dozen potential attacks. Here’s what you’ve got to do: If you see something, say something and that has always been true, and over the next few days, we should all keep our eyes wide open.
“But the best thing that we can do to fight terror is to refuse to be intimidated by it. For ten years, we have not allowed terrorists to intimidate us. We have lived our lives without fear – and we will continue to do so. So go about your business as you normally would – but just be vigilant. If you see something potentially suspicious, call 311. And if you see something that you think is potentially dangerous, call 911.
“Earlier this evening I had an extensive conversation with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the threat and what is being done in response. I also had a conversation with Jay Walder, the executive director of the MTA, and they are heightening security at MTA bridges, tunnels, and other transit infrastructure.
“And just for the record, I plan to take the subway tomorrow morning and feel just as safe as I did when I took it this morning.”
“We have lived for ten years with the potential for other terrorist attacks. The NYPD has stopped, we think, 13 of them at least and for all we know there were many others that, when terrorists want to attack us, took a look at what kind of precautions the NYPD and other agencies take here and said, ‘We’re not going to get away with it, so we’re not going to do it. Too hot and just not do that.’ You’ll never know any of those things.
“Every year there is an anniversary, that’s the time when you would think that we should heighten our security and we do. The risks are greater then, we imagine, but nobody is really sure. Every time there are events where large numbers of people gather you see the NYPD implementing strategies of crowd control and observations much more stringent than they would do on a normal day.
“Every time there are religious observances – whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever – Police Commissioner Kelly has a meeting right in this building of all of the clergy from those particular religions and works with them to provide the kind of heightened security that makes them feel more comfortable.
And I think, unfortunately – if you see the terrorism that has broken out in other parts of the world – the one thing we know is that terrorists haven’t gone away. Getting Osama Bin Laden certainly helped but it is by no means anything that should have us reduce our surveillance, reduce our focus, reduce our concentration.
“At the same time, as I pointed out, what we have to do is not let the terrorists win by intimidation, and we haven’t in New York. New York City has come back stronger than ever. There are double the number of people living downtown that lived in downtown before 9/11 and remember after 9/11 conventional wisdom was nobody would live down here. There were seven hotels then. Today I think there are 26 hotels downtown. There are parks and cultural institutions downtown that did not exist then.
“We have pulled together as a country, and I think one of the things we’ve learned is that if we can get rid of the partisanship and focus on working together, this country – and I think this City in particular – is able to do anything.”
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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