Security Expert: ISIS, Al Qaeda In A Race To See Who Can Attack New York City First

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Reverberations from the Paris terror attack were being felt in the Big Apple Friday.

The NYPD was on high alert as it guarded sensitive spots. The FBI was investigating local terror links, and its experts said ISIS and al-Qaeda are in a race to strike in New York, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.

From the French consulate to synagogues to transit hubs to news organizations in Times Square, the NYPD has visibly increased security in New York City following the attack on a newspaper in Paris.

Experts told Kramer the worry is real because of the changing face of terror in the world, and because New York City remains the number one terror target on the planet.

“There’s a race going on between al Qaeda and ISIS. Whoever gets to that end game first is going to get bigger resources,” security expert Manny Gomez said, adding when asked if that makes the city more vulnerable, “Absolutely makes New York more in danger because now we got a race.”

CBS2 has also learned that FBI agents here and around the country are trying to determine if the terrorists involved in the Paris massacre and hostage taking incidents have ties to the anyone in the United States. The two brothers behind the attack on the French satirical newspaper were on U.S. terror and no-fly lists.

“You’ve got to keep in mind France had these people in their cross hairs and for whatever reason they did not see this coming, so we are going to learn from that and look at our own hot list if you will to say, OK, who do we know? Who do we think could be a potential copycat?” Gomez said.

NYC Authorities On Alert After Attack In Paris

Gomez, a former FBI agent himself, said both federal intelligence and NYPD terror experts will be doing just that.

“They’re going to try to capture any electronic e-mail, text messages and phone calls overseas that are coming into here, any chatter if you will of an imminent attack and try to prevent it before it happens,” Gomez said.

Meanwhile, the NYPD is on high alert and there’s no indication when it will stand down.

“The Department will maintain vigilance at relevant sites across New York City, including high-profile Jewish and French sites, and is committed as always to the full safety and protection of all New Yorkers,” said Phil Walzak, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“They operate on patrol in the streets, they respond rapidly, their equipment remains with them at all times,” NYPD’s head of counterterrorism John Miller told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

“We need to be concerned,” Gomez added.

So far there is no indication of a plot targeting the United States, but the probe is continuing, Kramer reported, adding the NYPD has been getting a flow of intelligece from a detective it has assigned to a liaison post in Paris.

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