NEW YORK — New York City Police Department and other law enforcement personnel responded to a threat from ISIS after someone re-released a September 2014 message that tells followers to “rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers, and civilians.”
The threat specifically named the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets.
NYPD employees were told to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” especially in light of the attacks in France last week, in an internal memo.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across the country. That bulletin and the NYPD memo makes it clear that this new message is consistent with previous threats that ISIS and others, including al Qaeda, have issued.
NYPD deputy-commissioner for counterterrorism, John Miller, tempered fears of a threat to officials in New York City.
“I don’t think that we are under any more threat… or any less threat than we were the day before,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Miller said that the department is on a “heightened security posture on a normal day compared to almost any other police department.”
More than 1,000 police officers and civilian analysts are assigned to a counterterrorism mission every day and officers have studied the recent attacks in France, he said.
France was hit with three days of terror after three suspects killed 17 civilians in multiple attacks last week.
“ISIS appears to be renewing or recycling previous threats made in an audio tape released by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani in September which called for attacks by supporters on France and other Western countries in retaliation for air strikes in Syria and Iraq,” said terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
“They are hoping that the attacks in Paris by a group which included a self-professed ISIS follower will inspire other attacks in the West,” Cruickshank added.
Miller did say, however, that the video re-release shows ISIS is “using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see: ‘who can we get to follow this?'”
“Adnani’s fatwa calling for lone-wolf attacks back in September was a game-changer,” Cruickshank said. “Since then, we’ve seen ISIS-inspired attacks in all the Western countries he specifically mentioned: Canada, the United States, Australia and France. In October we also saw United Kingdom police break up a plot to target soldiers and police by extremists who British authorities say were deeply influenced by Adnani’s fatwa,” Cruickshank added.
The spree began in Paris, France, on Wednesday at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, after two brothers stormed the building, killing 12 and later escaping.
Early Thursday, a female police officer was killed after a suspect dressed in all black and wearing bulletproof vests shot her in a Paris suburb.
Two hostage situations unfolded Friday between law enforcement and the two sets of suspects. The first scene ended with the two brothers suspected of the magazine murders killed by security forces, said Bernard Corneille, the mayor of Othis, France.
At the same time, authorities moved into a kosher store where hostages were being held by the alleged cop-killer. While 15 hostages escaped, four were killed, as well as the suspect.