NYPD Commissioner William Bratton spoke Sunday from the World Trade Center memorial site in lower Manhattan about the war on terror that he said may never end.
In interviews with several Sunday morning news talk shows less than a week before his scheduled retirement, Bratton said that ISIS, with its growing capabilities aided by technology, has become a much more formidable enemy than the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaida, which was responsible for the series of four coordinated terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bratton reflected on the attacks before the annual memorial service at Ground Zero for the nearly 3,000 victims of all the 9/11 attacks.
The probability of another devastating attack hitting New York City is high, Bratton said, despite the ever-increasing capabilities of police and other authorities to gather intelligence about and respond to terrorism.
“There’s probably no city in America or the world that has as much capacity and capability as we have in New York,” Bratton said on “Eyewitness News This Morning.”
Even so, Bratton said on CNN’s “New Day Sunday,” the possibility of another attack remains high.
“Not necessarily in the near term,” he said. “But this is not something that is going to end today, next month or next year.”
Bratton said “the enabling, the inspiring, the directing” of terrorists since the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, surfaced, “have made this a very different set of initiatives that policing, and certainly federal government law enforcement, has to deal with.”
Asked if there were any current threats to New York City, Bratton said there were none.
“There are no credible threats directed against this day or this event in New York City,” Bratton said, referring to Sunday’s Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at Ground Zero, before adding that an attack could happen “at any given time.”
Bratton said New York City receives threats constantly.
“We’re dealing with a constant stream of threats — some real and some imagined — to create the threat that they’re coming after us all the time,” he said.
The terrorism world is a “constantly changing landscape,” and New York City authorities are prepared to respond “very quickly, very forcefully and very effectively,” the commissioner said.
Asked on NBC’s Sunday “Today” show what people should do in the face of the ongoing terror threat, Bratton said everyone “should go about living their lives free of fear. We want them to be aware. That’s the nature of the world we live in.”
At Ground Zero Sunday, Bratton told WCBS that “we’re here to remember the history here, but we’re also reminded of the history to come — the uncertainty of that as it relates to terrorism because we clearly know that the world changed on 9/11.”