NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NYPD is trying to learn as much as possible about the Paris attacks while police Commissioner Bill Bratton reiterated Thursday that an Islamic State video showing images of Times Square is “nothing new.”
The video was released Wednesday, just a week before the city goes into full holiday mode with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade followed by the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center.
It shows a suicide bomber along with footage of the Times Square and Herald Square areas.
Speaking Thursday on “CBS This Morning,” Bratton said the video “appears to be a very hastily produced” with “previously viewed video.”
“So it really didn’t change our stance at all,” he said. “We’re constantly prepared.”
City officials continue to insist there is no specific or credible threat to New York City.
Bratton remains adamant that his department will not back down, continuing its aggressive surveillance against ISIS.
“Fear is the oxygen of terrorism, and what they’re trying to do is pump much more oxygen into the system,” Bratton said. “We tell people to be aware, but don’t be afraid.”
De Blasio agreed.
“They want you to be afraid,” the mayor told reporters, including CBS2’s Alice Gainer, on Thursday. “They want you to change your way of life. They want to undermine our democracy. We will not let the terrorists win.
“We cannot let them change who we are,” de Blasio said, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. “And some voices in this country are playing right into ISIS’ hands.”
Bratton said ISIS is good at propaganda and using social media to recruit teens. He’s urging parents to watch their teen’s behavior and monitor the Internet sites they visit.
“Today they’re talking about girls and dating, and tomorrow all of a sudden, they’re now starting to talk about all these horrific things that we’re doing to the people over in the Mideast,” Bratton said.
The video is raising concern among many in the wake of the Paris attacks last week.
“You never know when, just like they didn’t know when,” said tourist Verna Jackson.
“It’s just a crazy place, and unfortunately people are dedicated to hurting others,” another man, who works in Times Square, told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.
But others see the large police presence and say they feel safe.
“It’s like the lottery. If something were to happen, it would just happen, but I can’t be running around New York afraid of people,” Times Square tour guide Kimball Hinton told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.”
“I’m going to keep my routine,” said New Jersey resident Niles Bess. “I’m also a man of faith. My prayers are absolutely ramped up.”
“We know they’re going to be here protecting us, so I feel safe,” said tourist Katernia Pappas.
“You’ve just got to go about your life and not let anybody try to upset your lifestyle,” another man told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane.
De Blasio emphasized that this past Monday the NYPD unveiled an elite new counterterrorism squad. Officials said the officers have received elite training in what amounts to armed warfare against any terrorist who would try to hit New York City.
By Dec. 31, there will be 560 members in the unit. Bratton said they will be fully operational by the end of the year, adding there will be an additional 300 officers on the street for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week.
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, issued a statement saying, “We are both grateful and confident that the NYPD and the mayor are, as always, taking the appropriate steps to ensure that all New Yorkers can continue to live normal lives even in the context of recent events and concerns.”
Bratton said one of the key questions he has right now is how ISIS was able to go undetected before the Paris attacks.
“We’re learning a lot about the attack, after the attack, but more importantly, we need to know about before the attack,” he said. “What happened that they didn’t detect it?”
The NYPD said they have detectives in France continually working to see what they can learn from the attacks there.
Bratton repeated that while New York remains a top terror target, it is also better prepared than any city in America to defend against a terrorist attack.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that after the attacks in Paris he directed state agencies to “enhance their preparedness.”
“Remember that the terrorists’ goal is to let fear win. New Yorkers never have, and we never will,” he said.
In France on Thursday, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins’ office said the Belgian extremist suspected of masterminding deadly attacks in Paris was killed in a police raid.
The prosecutor’s office said 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud was identified based on skin samples. His body was found in the apartment building targeted in the chaotic and bloody raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday.
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