“Let the train pass, one second,” Governor Andrew Cuomo stated as he waited for the E train to pass. In a symbolic move to show New Yorkers are safe to ride the subway, he and MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast hopped on the train near the World Trade Center on Thursday afternoon -- after the nation becomes warned of a terror threat.
Earlier Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he was informed of the plot on subways in the United States and Paris by intelligence in Baghdad, and that it was from foreign ISIS fighters. The White House has not confirmed the potential threats.
For New Yorkers, that means greater police presence than before. “You are going to see more city police, more MTA police, Port Authority police, State Police, more K-9 units,” Cuomo said. He added that the state of preparedness is the highest since September 11 with law enforcement teams working better together.
But for some residents, Thursday’s response seemed tardy. “They should take precautions even before they hear about a plot. Don’t wait to hear about it," said one woman on her way to a UN General Assembly meeting also taking place that day.
As he prepared for his ride, Cuomo said, “every New Yorker is aware of that and every New Yorker is aware that New York is a potential target for retaliation by these terrorist networks.”
One woman working inside the building standing above the World Trade Center train station said she’s noticed extra precautions in the last few weeks. “This building has been busy and we get notification of building exits in case of evacuation.”
The governor said that it is known New York is a potential target for retaliation by these terrorist networks, but that should not be a bother. “What the terrorists are trying to do is disrupt our lifestyle and disrupt our democracy. And we shouldn’t let them do that in any matter, shape or form.”
Governor Cuomo went to Broome County for the same purpose. He advises if you see something suspicious, then say something.
Later Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also boarded the subway, riding from City Hall to Union Square, and holding a press conference to show New Yorkers that the trains are safe, and disputing the terror threats.
“I have a simple message for all New Yorkers: There is no immediate credible threat to our subway system," de Blasio said. "I say that with confidence. People should go about their business as they normally would.”