N.Y. Increases Counter-Terror Efforts
Security continues to be tight at locations across New York City following the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, Apr. 15, which claimed three lives and injured hundreds of people.
Immediately following the blasts of two improvised explosive devices near the line of the 26.2-mile race in Massachusetts’ capital Monday afternoon, the NYPD announced it deployed counter-terrorism officers at hotels and prominent locations across the city, including Times Square, the World Trade Center and subway lines.
“We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties and they-along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure- are being fully mobilized to protect our city,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press release Monday afternoon.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo added that he directed various state and interstate agencies-including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the New York State Police, the MTA and the Port Authority-“to be on a heightened state of alert.” As such, the MTA Police beefed up security at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station to guard against possible attacks on the public transportation system.
Cuomo added that six New York National Guard soldiers sent to Boston on Sunday to assist officials there with the operation of the marathon are “on hand to assist with emergency response and work together with local authorities following this incident.”
Reportedly, the blasts occurred at around 2:50 p.m. as hundreds of runners participating in the marathon- held on Patriots Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts-were crossing the finish line in the Back Bay section of Boston. Witnesses said the two blasts-separated by about a block- occurred behind spectators as they lined Boylston Street, close to the ground, about 15 seconds apart.
Reportedly, the devices were comprised of a pressure cooker filled with ball bearings and nails which appeared to have been triggered remotely.
Two people-including an eightyear old boy-were pronounced dead from their injuries soon after the blasts. A third individual died later Monday evening.
Hundreds of others-including runners and spectators-were rushed to hospitals around Boston for treatment of injuries ranging from minor cuts to the maiming of whole limbs.
The Boston Police Department and the FBI’s Boston office are conducting the investigation. On Tuesday, federal and state law enforcement agents searched the home of a man described as a “person of interest” in the case who was questioned and is currently under guarded care at a Boston-area hospital.
As of press time Wednesday, however, no arrests have been made in the case described by the White House as an “act of terror.”
Locally, various elected officials across New York City and State joined Bloomberg and Cuomo in expressing their condolences to the victims of the Boston bombings and calling for those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice.
“As New Yorkers, we know all too well the devastating reality terrorist attacks have had on our country,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “In the wake of today’s tragedy, we must send a clear and unequivocal message to anyone who attempts to harm our country with acts of terror: their deeds will not go unpunished.”
“The bombings at the Boston Marathon show that cities must redouble their vigilance in combating acts of terror and sabotage,” said City Comptroller John Liu.
“This is a horrible and senseless attack and my heart aches for all Bostonians, particularly those whose loved ones were killed or injured in this terrible tragedy,” said Rep. Grace Meng. “I thank the bravery of the first responders and medical personnel who without hesitation rushed to help the victims. I know that law enforcement will not rest until they track down and bring to justice those responsible for this cowardly act.”
“This terrorist act at the Boston Marathon is a stark reminder of the efforts that must continually be made to ensure the safety of people in each community and throughout our city, state and country,” said State Sen. Joseph Addabbo. “I greatly appreciate all governmental personnel and regular citizens who do their part in protecting the public from harm.”
“My office has been in touch with our local police precincts and our focus continues to be on keeping our community safe and secure,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “I am asking everyone to stay vigilant and please help our officers protect our communities by following the simple rule: If you see something, say something.”