Homeland Security and FBI warn terrorists could exploit 9/11; NYPD ramps up security

ByDerick Waller WABC logo
Friday, September 10, 2021
Security tight ahead of 9/11
There is an elevated threat level heading into the September 11th ceremonies, but the Chief of Counterterrorism with the NYPD says they have it under control.

NEW YORK CITY -- On the eve of the 20-year 9/11 commemoration, the New York Police Department has identified no specific or credible threats associated with the ceremonies, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said police would be watching "minute by minute."

There is an elevated threat level heading into the 20th anniversary but the chief of counterterrorism with the NYPD says they have it under control.

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Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he personally guaranteed the safety of Saturday's events even as he said he remained mindful of the times.

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Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller had previously said earlier this week that there is "no credible threat" but the event is being treated "as an elevated threat environment."

The "call to action" from terror groups is louder this year than in prior years, likely because of the 20-year anniversary and the fall of the US-supported government in Afghanistan, Miller said.

Last year's smaller ceremony happened during the height of the pandemic and pre-vaccine.

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This year's remembrance should look more like those from before 2020, with families of those who died in attendance as well as Presidents Biden and Obama.

President Trump is not attending the official ceremony, but he may make an appearance later in the afternoon.

Saturday morning, officials said New Yorkers can expect to see a heavy police presence, but the chief of counterterrorism says security preparations go far beyond that, including intelligence, surveillance, and bomb detection equipment.

"Our daily counterterrorism deployment will not be affected by what we have deployed at the World Trade Center ceremony," said Martine Materasso, Chief of Countererrorism, NYPD. "These various layers of security are the result of and a shining example of the tireless work of the men and women of the NYPD. We are confident that the ceremony will be safe and secure."