The Paris attacks underscore the need for intense surveillance of potential terrorists, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and Rep. Peter King said Sunday, as New Yorkers mourned those killed in the strikes at vigils and makeshift memorials.
At church services and evening candlelight vigils, New Yorkers paid tribute to the 129 people who died during the Friday night massacres in coordinated bomb and shooting attacks.
At St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, Msgr. Robert Ritchie mourned the "apocalyptic" attacks. He asked churchgoers to pray for "our brothers and sisters who are suffering in the City of Lights."
At the Consulate General of France on the Upper East Side, mourners left hundreds of bouquets, candles and an Eiffel Tower formed by Metrocards to memorialize the slain.
"We need peace for everybody, no matter who they are or their religion," said a tearful Maha Sarayreh, 52, of Richmond Hill, Queens.
At the same time, the NYPD and Long Island police pledged to step up their presence when necessary at public events. But they stressed that they had not received specific threats.
Bratton and King, in separate television interviews, said the attacks are a reminder of the importance of tracking potential terror suspects and not underestimating the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, the perpetrator of the strikes.
Bratton, on WABC/7, called the attacks "a game changer," showing the ability of the Islamic State group to attack far beyond its base of operations, primarily in Syria. "They have moved into competition with al-Qaida, and have surpassed al-Qaida," Bratton said.
In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," King (R-Seaford), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, said the United States should suspend accepting Syrian refugees immediately "unless they can show that a refugee is not part of ISIS."
President Barack Obama has said the United States will take in up to 10,000 Syrian refugees, as millions of them continue to make their way to Europe, fleeing a devastating civil war involving the Islamic State group.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Sunday that the threat to New York is real but far less likely than in European countries, and noted any refugees admitted by the United States must go through "a year or two" of vetting.
The attacks led to an increased police presence outside Madison Square Garden for the Knicks game, and at MetLife Stadium for the Giants game.
Isma Chaudhry, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, said there is a need for vigilance, but officials should not unfairly target the Muslim community.
"We in this day and age have to be very careful: surveillance for what and for who?" she said. "All around the world, Muslims in the majority condemn these acts of violence; one has to be really careful, and understand the fine line between targeting people and being extra vigilant."