The NYPD took steps Friday to bring private hotel security officials up to speed on three deadly attacks overseas that a top city police official said appear to be part of a disturbing increase in terror-related activity.
John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said though no specific intelligence from Friday's attacks was related to New York City, they follow six cases in the metropolitan area in which people have been arrested after being accused of being in various stages of taking action in the Islamic State's name.
"We are seeing a level and intensity and cadence of activity that is unusual and concerning," Miller said of the recent terror arrests.StoryIS affiliate hits Shiite mosque in Kuwait, killing 27
Talking with reporters along with NYPD Commissioner William Bratton after a promotion ceremony, Miller said the department was trying to learn all it could about Friday's overseas attacks. In one in France in which a man was beheaded, Miller said the company targeted was a U.S. firm. In the other two, a man shot and killed at least 39 guests at a seaside hotel in Tunisia while the Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for a bombing at a Shia mosque in Kuwait.
After the Tunisia hotel killings, Miller said NYPD officers met with their security counterparts at hotels in the city to brief them on the attacks. Another NYPD official said the three attacks did not appear to be coordinated.
A manager of Air Products & Chemicals, an Allentown, Pennsylvania-based firm, was beheaded in the attack in France. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and reported worldwide sales last year of $10.4 billion, according to its website. Air Products processes and produces atmospheric and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and related technologies, the website says.
Miller said that after the beheading, NYPD officials contacted New Jersey police to check into whether Air Products has any local affiliates. Miller didn't elaborate and it was unclear late Friday if the firm had any such ties.
In a statement, Air Products chairman, president and chief executive Seifi Ghasemi expressed horror at the attack and said security had been increased at all company facilities.
Bratton said the attacks reinforced his recent recommendations to increase the NYPD's resources to deal with terrorism, particularly acts inspired by the Islamic State. Bratton said he will be using more than 300 new officers to staff a permanent critical response unit.