NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police around New York and New Jersey are stepping up security in the wake of Monday’s “terror-related” underground explosion near the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said extra security will be in place at high-profile locations around the state, including airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.
He also said additional personnel “are being deployed to high-density areas and large public gatherings.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are stepping up security measures,” the governor said in a statement. “I want to thank our first responders and all other personnel who continue to risk their own lives every day in the service of their fellow New Yorkers, and I encourage everyone to go about their business and live their lives without fear.”
Calling it “an attempted terrorist attack,” Mayor Bill de Blasio also said Monday that New Yorkers will see “expanded NYPD presence today all over the city.”
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, there were bomb sniffing dogs monitoring the area outside Madison Square Garden.
“I will not be deterred by terrorism. The NYPD has got it on lockdown. We’re good,” one fan said.
“I feel pretty safe. I have full confidence in the police department, all those other agencies,” Steve D’Auria added.
The NYPD added that “there are no other specific and credible threats” against the city at this time.
“The NYPD’s Strategic Response Group and Critical Response Command were assigned to other key transportation hubs and other locations throughout the city as a precautionary measure,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. “We have almost 3,000 transit cops that work in the subway system every day.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has ordered additional security at mass transit hubs and said law enforcement assets in the Garden State are coordinating with their federal and New York partners.
“I urge all New Jerseyans to be alert and that if they see something unusual, to report it to law enforcement immediately,” the governor said.
On Long Island, the Suffolk County Police Department said it was closely monitoring the incident and said it would be beefing up security at transit facilities, including Long Island Rail Road stations, “out of an abundance of caution.”
“The public should expect to see an additional police presence in these areas,” police said. “There is no current, credible information of an increased threat to Suffolk County.”
The incident happened around 7:19 a.m. Monday in an underground walkway between Times Square and the bus terminal subway stations in the area of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues.
At least three people were hurt in the explosion that O’Neill called “terror-related.” Speaking at a news conference, the police commissioner identified the suspect as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah.
Police said he had a crude homemade device attached to his body using Velcro and zip ties and said video shows him walking down the passageway when the device exploded.
O’Neill said by the time officers arrived, they found Ullah with burns and wounds to his body. He was taken into custody and transported to the hospital.
Police asked anyone with information about the incident to call the Terror Hotline at 888-NYC-SAFE.