The terrorism threat in the United States is at the “most heightened” level since 9/11, particularly with the recruitment of Westerners to commit the attacks, senior Homeland Security officials warned Wednesday.
Testifying before members of Congress, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano warned that another terrorist attack could come “with little or no warning.”
However, local security experts assured that in New York City, the NYPD has shown itself to be vigilant in monitoring any potential threats. Karen Greenberg, executive director of NYU’s Center on Law and Security, told amNewYork that the NYPD has placed “an incredible emphasis on intelligence.”
“The only way you can be prepared (for another attack) is to prepare to prevent one from happening — and what prevents that is good intelligence,” Greenberg said.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment and City Hall referred questions to the police department.
At the Congressional hearing, Napolitano warned that with the increase in homegrown terrorists, federal investigators must work even more closely with state and local law enforcement agencies.
“We cannot seal our country under a glass dome,” Napolitano said. “However, we continue to do everything we can to reduce the risk of terrorism in our nation.”
Since 9/11, there have been 32 terrorism plots linked to al-Qaida, and 50 of the 88 people involved were American citizens, Napolitano said, citing an intelligence report. Among them was naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad, 31, who was nabbed last May trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square.