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Long IslandPolitics

Cuomo makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks about global terrorism

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks about global terrorism threats on Sept. 24, 2014 at 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Thomas

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to hear from Defense Department officials about terrorism and to visit troops from New York State, his office said Saturday.

The trip came after Cuomo ordered state law enforcement agencies to heighten measures to guard against terrorist attacks. He was part of a bipartisan group that included the governors of Tennessee, Missouri and Nevada, as well as the undersecretary of the Army and other Defense officials, his office said.

Cuomo's visit was not publicized until after he arrived in Afghanistan "due to security issues," his office said in a news release. While in Afghanistan, he was to meet with Defense officials about "counterterrorism issues" and "the evolving global threats that affect New York's security at home," the release said.

Among the service members he plans to greet are those from Fort Drum, New York's 10th Mountain Division, which has 900 soldiers in Afghanistan. There are about 270 members of the state's National Guard there.

In a stopover on the way to Afghanistan, Cuomo visited wounded service members and hospital staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Cuomo, who is up for re-election this year, has held at least three events over the past few weeks to outline the counterterrorism steps being taken by New York and New Jersey as the conflict expands between United States and Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria.

He has said that while there is no specific threat, New York is a top target.

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