NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The morning after officials said there was a “specific, credible but unconfirmed” terror threat against New York City and Washington D.C. related to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New Yorkers were seeing a beefed-up response by the New York Police Department.
The threat involves non-specific car bomb attacks, possibly targeting bridges and tunnels here. The information came from an overseas source which Mayor Michael Bloomberg said had been credible in the past.
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“The original intelligence suggests that maybe two or three operatives could already be in the U.S. So far, though, officials have not been able to confirm that part of the information,” reported CBS News correspondent Bob Orr. “The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI have put out a bulletin to local law enforcement putting them on increased notice for extra vigilance over the next several days, and security is being tightened both in Washington and in New York.”
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“We take every single threat that is credible seriously,” Bloomberg said.
“I think it’s fair to say if we were in receipt of this information, regardless of whether we were two, three days or six months out from 9/11, that we would tackle it just as aggressively,” New York FBI Director Janice Fedarcyk said.
Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to “go about your business and just be vigilant.” He said “the best thing we can do is refuse to be intimidated by it.”
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“It is a real threat,” Biden said. “People should be alert, they should not alter what they’re doing,” he added.
“We have significant security, local police and federal agencies working on this,” Biden said.
The security apparatus of the United States is attempting to nail down specific information about the unconfirmed plot, trying to identify suspects and determine if they are operational.
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CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton said that federal officials were “tracking two distinct threat streams: A car bombing threat in New York City or Washington D.C., and a separate threat against bridges and tunnels in New York City.”
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The threat emerges from Pakistan and Afghanistan, Milton said.
During the raid which left terror mastermind Osama bin Laden dead back in May, Navy SEALs recovered a treasure trove of intelligence, including a notebook. There, bin Laden mentioned a possible attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
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“The NYPD is deploying additional resources around the city and taking other steps to keep our city safe,” Bloomberg said. “Some of which you will notice, some of which you won’t notice. But there is no reason for any of the rest of us to change anything in our daily routines.”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said New Yorkers could expect to see an increased presence at area bridges, tunnels and government buildings. Landmarks and houses of worship will also get additional protection.
“The public is likely to see vehicle checkpoints throughout the city,” Kelly said.
More illegally parked cars will be towed as well, Kelly said. Commuters could expect to see more bag checks. Police will also be stepping up bomb sweeps.
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“We’re going to see a huge increase in motor vehicle checks, bridge and tunnel slowdowns. And it’s going to have a major impact on the way traffic moves,” counterterrorism expert Bob Strang said.
At Penn Station, armed officers can be seen making their presence known.
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White House officials said there were no plans to change President Obama’s travel schedule on Sunday in light of the threat. The president is scheduled to mark the 9/11 anniversary with stops at ground zero in Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. He will also deliver remarks Sunday night at a memorial concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
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