New York governor calls for calm amid terror threats

New York, Sep 26 (IANS/EFE): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called on the state's citizens not to be alarmed amid supposed threats of an attack on the New York City subway system by the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group.

He noted that the authorities have "worked very hard" to make the city "more prepared than ever before" for such an eventuality.

"The New York City subway system is safe. Go about your business - be prudent," Cuomo said, responding to the alarm created Thursday when Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced the arrest of jihadis suspected of planning attacks on the Paris and US metros.

"Everyone can be helpful. The expression 'if you see something, say something', is truer now more than ever," he added.

Although denying that any specific threat to attack the Big Apple's subway system exists, Cuomo said: "But is there generic threat? Yes, and that's common sense New York. You... watch the TV news, you see us bombing the terrorist network. We assume they're going to try to retaliate -- and... New York is at the top of the list."

But he added that since the first tensions appeared, New York authorities, the police and the FBI have been working in a coordinated manner to ensure that the city was prepared for any attempted attack.

Cuomo said that local transportation authority chief Thomas Prendergast and he himself were riding the subway, and all New Yorkers should feel comfortable doing the same.

But he also said that New Yorkers were going to see more police around, more Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority agents and more K9 units, and he called upon them not to be alarmed by that.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also assured local residents that the subway was safe.

"I have a simple message for all New Yorkers: There is no immediate credible threat to our subway system," De Blasio told reporters. "I say that with confidence. People should go about their business as they normally would."

Meanwhile, a spokesman with the New York Police Department NYPD) told Efe news agency that the department was in "close contact" with the FBI and other federal agencies to evaluate the alleged threat mentioned by the Iraqi premier.

"New York City is operating normally at a high level of security but we're making modifications daily starting with evaluating the information we're receiving," the NYPD spokesman said.


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