NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is circulating a memo warning its own about continuing threats against current and former officers from terrorists and extremists.
Just this past June, three NYPD officers were attacked in Brooklyn.
One was stabbed and two were shot in what’s been described as an Islamic terrorist attack.
Back in 2014, there was a violent hatchet attack on a group of rookie cops in Jamaica, Queens, that was also deemed an act of terror.
The NYPD is now warning its members about attacks like these.
A new Intelligence Bureau memo sent to uniformed members Friday says law enforcement and military personnel remain prime targets for violent extremists.
The memo outlines recent threats from traditional al-Qaida aligned networks as well as anarchists and neo-Nazis.
Threats include lone-wolf attacks and knife-wielding assassinations.
Security expert Manny Gomez says it’s no surprise extremists are planning attacks while Americans remain distracted — first by the COVID crisis and second by anti-police sentiments.
“They’re capitalizing on the fact that defund the police and anti-police issues … They’re targeting police officers when they have less resources than they had before this,” Gomez told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
The police officers’ union released a statement in response to the memo.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said in part, “In today’s anti-police environment, these threats are more serious than ever before. Those in power who use their platform to demonize police officers need to realize that their words matter. They are giving inspiration and encouragement to violent extremists of every stripe.”
Meanwhile, police and experts are encouraging officers to remain vigilant.
“When you come in and out of your precinct or wherever you work out of, you have to be aware that there may be people that are watching you, surveilling you, following you to see where you go, to see where you live,” Gomez said.
When asked about the memo, a NYPD spokesperson told CBS2 that New York City remains one of the most prominent terrorist targets in the entire world.
The spokesperson adds that in order to protect the city, officers must be informed of all potential threats.
Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.
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