New York, NY – The city remains the preeminent target for terrorists plotting attacks on U.S. soil, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
There have been 11 known plots against the city since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, while there have been no publicly acknowledged terror conspiracies against Washington during that same period, Kelly said today following a press conference at police headquarters in lower Manhattan.
“We look at the cases as they mount up here — New York is still unfortunately on top of the terrorist target list,” he said. That’s “our operational premise.”
Terrorist groups will continue to send operatives to the U.S., regardless of whether plots are successful, Kelly said. His remarks came less than seven weeks after Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was arrested in connection with a failed attempt to detonate a bomb in New York’s Time Square.
The Obama administration has said that Shahzad, who U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said admitted his role in the bombing attempt and is cooperating with authorities, received training and funding from a Taliban group based in Pakistan.
“If they succeed, they’re happy,” Kelly said. “If they don’t succeed, they know at the very least they’ve cost us money, they’ve given us some angst, some concern throughout the community.”
On June 14, a federal judge in White Plains, New York, delayed the trial of four men charged with plotting to set off explosives outside a New York City synagogue and shoot down military planes with anti-aircraft missiles. In Brooklyn federal court, jury selection began this week in the trial of three men charged in a plot to blow up fuel lines and tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“They are going to continue to come in our direction and we’re going to do everything we reasonably can to prevent them,” the commissioner said.