NEWYORK (TIP): Terror group ISIS released a propaganda video Wednesday, November 18, that makes threats against New York, but city leaders said there is no “credible and specific threat” to the city.
The authenticity of the video has not been verified and New York officials have said there are no specific threats against the city.
The video shows several scenes in Manhattan including Times Square, Gap in Herald Square, T.G.I. Friday’s and yellow taxi cabs on city streets. It also includes images of terrorist sharpshooters and terrorists wearing suicide belts.
The Islamic State considers the United States its top enemy and frequently threatens attacks against American targets.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City will not be intimidated by a newly released video by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which shows images of Times Square.
“There is no credible and specific threat against New York City,” de Blasio said during a news conference Wednesday night.
“Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated,” de Blasio said, encouraging New Yorkers to “go about their business” as normal, while remaining watchful.
The ISIL video, which runs for nearly six minutes, includes a scene that appears to show a suicide bomber making preparations and zipping up a jacket, according to a description provided by SITE Intelligence Group, a Bethesda, Maryland, organization that tracks groups like ISIL.
“Footage of New York shown in the ISIS video was taken from a video released by the group in April of this year. So while NYC is, and has been, a target for ISIS, today’s video does not warrant any kind of panic,” SITE director Rita Katz said in an email to Reuters.
The FBI said through a spokeswoman it was aware of news reports about the video and “ongoing terrorist threats to NYC,” and would fully investigate.
A New York Police Department spokesman said some of the video footage is old but the video reaffirms the message the city remains a top target for extremists.
“While there is no current or specific threat to the city at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community,” said Stephen Davis, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information.
De Blasio said that the NYPD this week “initiated the first wave of our new Critical Response Command, which will grow to 500 officers specifically dedicated to anti-terrorism activities,” he said.
The new unit will supplement an existing 1,000-officer counterterrorism program, police said.