FBI, New York police aware of ISIS video warning, say no specific threat

Armed New York City police officers with the special operation division Strategic Response Group stand in front of the US Armed Forces Career Center at Times Square in New York Nov 18, 2015.
Armed New York City police officers with the special operation division Strategic Response Group stand in front of the US Armed Forces Career Center at Times Square in New York Nov 18, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The FBI and New York police are aware of a newly released Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) video suggesting America's most populous city is a potential target of attacks such as those in Paris last week, but both agencies said on Wednesday (Nov 18) there were no specific threats.

"While some of the video footage is not new, the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target," Stephen Davis, a deputy NYPD commissioner, said in a statement. "While there is no current or specific threat to the city at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance."

The FBI said through a spokeswoman it was aware of news reports about the video and "ongoing terrorist threats to NYC,"and would fully investigate.

ISIS has claimed credit for Friday's attacks in Paris that killed 129 people in shootings and suicide bombings at a concert hall, restaurants and a soccer stadium in Paris.

The assault on the French capital stirred memories in New York of the Sept 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks that felled the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, killing more than 2,600 people.

The ISIS video, which runs for nearly six minutes, includes a scene that appears to show a suicide bomber making preparations and zipping up a leather jacket, according to a description provided by SITE Intelligence Group, a Bethesda, Maryland, organisation that tracks militant groups.

 

The clip shows a brief glimpse of Times Square, a Midtown Manhattan crossroads popular with tourists, and a suicide bomber holding what appears to be a trigger. Most of the footage is scenes of Paris and French President Francois Hollande.

"Footage of New York shown in the ISIS video was taken from a video released by the group in April of this year. So while NYC is and has been a target for ISIS, today's video does not warrant any kind of panic," SITE director Rita Katz said in an email to Reuters.