NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, the need for vigilance and precaution remains paramount.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa Reports
That fact especially reigned true following Thursday night’s announcement that a “specific, credible but unconfirmed” terror threat exists against New York City and Washington D.C.
THREAT FROM THE ‘LONE WOLF’
Even with the death of Osama bin Laden, the FBI is under no illusion that a mass attack is a thing of the past. Since the 2001 terror at the World Trade Center, the agency has been keeping an eye another quite opposite entity — the lone wolf.
“They pose a threat because they may aspire to a particular anti-government philosophy or they may aspire to an ideology that they’ve come across on an internet web forum,” FBI New York Chief Janice Fedarcyk told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
Authorities say that these individuals are functioning citizens in society that can travel under the radar and avoid detection.
“We think it is a significant event, it’s a milestone, but it’s not a game changer as we’ve said, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said of bin Laden’ death. “The threat has not diminished, in some ways, you even postulate that it’s increased because of the revenge factor.”
Kelly also echoed sentiments expressed by other officials about so-called homegrown terrorists and lone wolves radicalized by information on the Internet.
NYC SECURITY ‘A BIG CHALLEGE’
Arriving in New York weeks before the anniversary of the attacks, recently named New York FBI counterterrorism chief John Giacalone has hit the ground running.
“Being that we are such a unique target because of our size and because of what we represent that is going to be a big challenge — which is why I’m reaching out early and as often as I can to our partners to make sure that we work this together,” he told Papa.
Giacalone’s intelligence work overseas arms him with the knowledge that the death of bin Laden does not kill the threat to New York.
“We follow up on all those leads, we don’t look at anything as if it’s idle chatter; we’re going to work things to the ground until that threat can be 100 percent mitigated,” he said.
Over the past 10 years, the Joint Terrorism Taskforce in New York has expanded to include national and international input, carving out a broader base.
COMPANIES WANT MORE SAFEGUARDS
The attack on the World Trade Center has also sparked a demand for corporate and executive protection.
Former NYPD detective Michael Sapraicone just started his new firm, “Squad Security,” at a time when demand for his service skyrocketed.
“It was always the higher-end places or Fortune 500 companies that had a little better security and, all of a sudden, everybody wanted this better security,” he said.
Companies demanded a more visible security staff — cameras and building check-ins became the rule rather than the exception.
Now biometrics has become more commonplace. A fingerprint match or the iris of your eye is a piece of unique identification and serves as a security pass.
“We check identifications, that’s something that became a standard procedure. Before 9/11, it was very rare if you walked into a building and somebody asked you for your license and a photo ID,” Sapraicone said.
How do you view New York’s security situation 10 years later? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…