Extra police handling security for 9/11 memorials
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The NYPD will bring in cops from units outside Manhattan to handle security for Saturday's Sept. 11 memorial, as well as planned demonstrations sparked by controversy over the proposed Islamic community center, officials said.
Police will flood lower Manhattan for Saturday's three-hour-plus remembrance ceremony which begins around 8:45 a.m. Then at 3 p.m. cops will shift attention a few blocks uptown where demonstrators will be gathering to protest the Islamic center planned for 45-51 Park Place.
Several hundred protesters are expected to mass in an area centered on Barclay Street and West Broadway to decry what planners describe as a $100-million multicultural facility. Many 9/11 families are against the center because they say it is too close to Ground Zero.
Police officials said officers from outside Manhattan are being called in to ensure local borough commands are not depleted by the security demand.
It was a year ago that the FBI and NYPD ran a joint investigation which uncovered the abortive plot of terrorist Najibullah Zazi. The former Queens resident pleaded guilty earlier this year to concocting a plan to set off homemade bombs in the subway to coincide with last year's Sept. 11 anniversary.
But for the moment things seem quiet on the counterterror front, according to police. "We have no information indicating any kind of terror attack," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Friday.
Police have deployed the heavily armed Hercules unit around major transit hubs and other key points in the city. Cops are also present outside of Jewish and Islamic houses of worship, as is customary.
Police also will monitor a series of other demonstrations this weekend, including a candlelight vigil scheduled for Friday and another march set for Sunday, both in favor of the Islamic center.