NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police have stepped up security in Times Square while still insisting that there’s no information pointing to any terror plot against New York City linked to the Islamic State group.

NYPD officials told reporters on Wednesday that New Yorkers would see more patrols and other signs of heightened security in Times Square, the subways and other spots during the upcoming Jewish holidays and United Nations General Assembly.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, Jewish leaders heard a blunt warning from Gov. Cuomo’s Homeland Security Chief, Jerome Hauer, at a High Holy Days security summit.

“I will not rule out the fact that two, three, four lone wolves get into the country and do something on their own,” Hauer said.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday that New York City has entered a “new era” of potential terror threats as a Rochester man was indicted on charges he tried to aid the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that a grand jury indicted 30-year-old Mufid Elfgeeh, living in Rochester, on charges of attempting to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization.

Court documents say Elfgeeh encouraged three people to travel to Syria to join fighters with the Islamic State group.

The Yemen-born man was arrested earlier this year after prosecutors say he bought two guns from a FBI informant. Investigators say he plotted to kill returning U.S. troops for American actions overseas and Shiite Muslims over the civil war in Syria.

The announcement of Elfgeeh’s indictment came the same day that Bratton told reporters that the NYPD continues to worry that American citizens who have joined forces with the ISIS could return home to New York to commit acts of terror.

“The potential for them to come back and commit terrorist acts here are very real, and it has expanded significantly on the terrorist threat,” he said.

He said there is no current information pointing to a specific threat against the city, but said the NYPD is “quite concerned” with “the capabilities of ISIS.”

Bratton also said that the Islamic State organization has demonstrated a sophisticated command of how to use the Internet to cultivate sympathizers in the West.

A post on an online message board for Islamic State sympathizers encourages would-be terrorists to attack tourist hot spots in the United States, including Times Square and Las Vegas.

The post, titled “To the Lone Wolves in America,” gives specific instructions for using households items like nails, Christmas tree lights and clocks to build bombs like the one used in the Boston Marathon bombing.

“This is a new world, if you will, or the evolving world of terrorism, and we’re staying ahead of it,” Bratton said Tuesday. “We’ve been focused on it, and I believe that we are as prepared as any entity could be to deal with the threats.”

“It’s no longer necessary to actually meet somebody in al Qaeda to get training and inspiration to conduct a terrorist attack here in the United States.  Someone can do it in their pajamas in their basement.  These are the homegrown violent extremists that we worry about,” FBI Director James Comey said.

Many New Yorkers Wednesday didn’t seem too worried.

“I’m going to do my job, and I’m going to worry about,” one man told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “I’m going to let the military take care of it and let the NYPD do what they’ve got to do here.”

“You can’t really take them seriously,” said another.

“You can’t stop living your life because of it,” said another man. “The threats are a threat, and just use precautions and hope it doesn’t happen.”

But others who live and work in Times Square were concerned.

“I’m here almost every day. I work in Times Square five days a week, so that bothers me,” one man said.

“I’m very concerned,” Bronx resident Tyreek Morris told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell. “I work right here. It would be bad if something really happened.”

Rafael Pacheco, who runs a souvenir stand in Times Square, said he feels safe but the talk of a threat is unsettling.

“The area seems secure always, but you never know,” he said. “You never know.”

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie met in Manhattan with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to discuss ways to secure the region from what they described as a mounting terror threat fueled by Islamic State extremists.

The officials emerged from the meeting saying they would develop a coordinated security plan covering both states.

The session came days after President Barack Obama told the country he is authorizing stepped-up airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State militants.

Hauer said Wednesday the threat hasn’t been greater since prior to 9/11.

“The more that the U.S. commits to try and go after ISIS, the greater the threat will grow here,” he said. “And the more people will blame America, but also the Jewish community.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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