By Chelsea Rahiman
Following the Paris attacks there has been a noticeable increase in security throughout New York City. This increase is necessary considering that ISIS recently released video with images of New York City and suicide bombers preparing themselves for attacks. The reason for increased security was to ensure the safety of New Yorkers — Mayor De Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and the NYPD wanted to be proactive because New York would rather be extra safe than vulnerable.
Tensions in the city are high, and understandably so. New York City is no stranger to terrorism attacks and we’re always a target, according to Mayor De Blasio, who stated “New York will always be the number one terror target.” New York has remained a target because it is one of the most iconic cities of the world and symbolizes American and western culture, which is very much hated by ISIS.
According to nyc.gov, since the attacks on New York City on September 11th, 2001 there have been 60 attempted attacks on the United States by Islamic extremists. Of these 60 attacks, 16 of them have been on NYC. These locations include the Brooklyn Bridge, New York Stock Exchange, Herald Square, Times Square, and John F. Kennedy Airport. All of these plots failed thanks to our police force and the FBI.
Mayor de Blasio’s advice to New Yorkers is “Don’t live in fear… If our society shuts down, the terrorists have won without ever coming here in any force… And we are not going to allow them to win.”
The threats on NYC is ISIS using psychological warfare. Psychological warfare is when a threat does not physically occur. Our fear of this event however, overtakes our minds and the psychological impact is the same as a threat that becomes a reality.
Those living in NYC understand that there is always a threat to the city; however they feel safe. This is because we know that our police officers are protecting us and we are protecting each other. Even the Mafia has threatened to wage war on ISIS if they attack New York City. Giovanni Gambino a key figure in the mob, stated, “The world is dangerous today, but people living in New York neighborhoods with Sicilian connections should feel safe…We make sure our friends and families are protected from extremists and terrorists, especially the brutal, psychopathic organization that calls itself the Islamic State”.
Increased security in New York City was visible during the Thanksgiving Day Parade. A record number of police officers — 2,500 — were stationed throughout the parade route. Also, during the Rockerfeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony extra precautions were taken — umbrellas, backpacks, and large bags were not allowed. NYPD’s Strategic Response Unit was among the massive amount of police officers present. Port Authority is on alert as well. Extra officers have been deployed to Penn Station and Grand Central Station.
By working together with the NYPD and understanding that there is always a threat and always having our eyes open and alert, we will be able to battle terrorism more effectively.