NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says the NYPD is “following developments in the U.K. closely” after Britain raised its terror threat level from substantial to severe Friday, meaning that a terrorist attack is considered highly likely.
In a statement Friday, Bratton said the NYPD is “working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor any developments.”
“As of now, there is no specific credible threat to New York City,” Bratton said. “New York City’s security posture and NYPD resources are adjusted daily to conform to the changing threat picture around the globe.”
The decision to raise the threat level in Britain was related to developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent.
“With ISIL, we are facing a terrorist organization not being hosted in a country, but actually seeking to establish, and then violently expand its own terrorist state. We could be facing a terrorist threat on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
And he called for a tough response, which would include diplomacy and possible military action, CBS 2’s Sonia Rincon reported.
“Learning the lessons from the past doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for our military. The military were vital in driving al Qaeda from Afghanistan and we support the U.S. airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq. The key point is that military force is just one element for what we can do,” Cameron said.
Home Secretary Theresa Mays said the decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center is made on the basis of intelligence and is independent of government. “Severe” is the second-highest of five levels.
British police have appealed to the public to help identify aspiring terrorists after the killing of an American journalist focused attention on extremism in the U.K.
The involvement of a person of British nationality in James Foley’s beheading underscored the need to identify those who might travel abroad to fight or are at risk of being radicalized.
The last time the rate was raised to severe in the U.K. was in September 2010, in response to the attempt to detonate a bomb on a U.S. passenger plane over Detroit.
It was last at the highest level, or critical, in June 2007, after a car on fire was driven into the Glasgow Airport terminal building and, separately, two devices were found in cars in central London.
Meanwhile, the White House does not expect the U.S. to raise its terrorism threat warning level.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said U.S. officials are in touch with British counterparts about their decision.
“There is no evidence or indication right now that ISIL is actively plotting to attack the United States homeland. That’s true right now. That said, it is important that we take the steps that are necessary, as a part of the president’s comprehensive strategy, to deny them the safe haven that would give them the kind of comfort they would need to consider plotting those kinds of attacks,” Earnest said.
The Department of Homeland Security said it has also taken a number of steps to enhance aviation security at overseas airports with direct flights to the United States over the past several weeks.
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