Threat assessment finds Times Square 'attractive target' for terrorists but no specific threats

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Friday, December 22, 2023
New terrorism concerns for New Year's Eve in Times Square
Aaron Katersky joins the Mornings @ 10 team to discuss security.

NEW YORK -- New Year's Eve in Times Square, with its significant attendance and media coverage, makes an "attractive target for foreign terrorist organizations, homegrown violent extremists, domestic violent extremists, lone offenders, and targeted violence" but "no specific reporting regarding any threats," according to a threat assessment obtained by ABC News.

The document notes that for the past several years extremists "have almost exclusively attacked law enforcement or military targets in the United States."

Last year, a Maine man, Trevor Bickford, allegedly attacked NYPD officers working a checkpoint on 8th Avenue. The FBI characterized the attack as aimed at killing U.S. government officials.

The document also notes the increase in threats since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and ongoing war.

"We assess that lone offenders inspired by, or reacting to, the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict pose the most likely threat to Americans, especially Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities in the United States," the document said.