The dreaded terror group ISIS has released a new video showing images of the iconic Times Square and a suicide bomber zipping his explosive vest and apparently preparing for an assault on New York City.
The five-and-a-half-minute video starts with horrific scenes from the recent Paris attacks and shows French-and Arabic-speaking militants praising the Friday assault that left at least 129 people dead, media reports said.
At the end of the video a suicide bomber is shown making an explosive vest, putting it on and zipping up his jacket.
The next image is of a crowded Times Square, Herald Square and two midtown Manhattan crossroads in New York. The militant is seen holding a trigger and the video suddenly goes blank, reports said.
In a statement, the New York Police Department said it was aware of the video and was deploying additional members of its new anti-terrorism squad out of an abundance of caution.
It said some of the footage is old but the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target.
“While there is no current or specific threat to the city at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community to keep the city of New York safe,” the statement added.
“The people of New York City will not be intimidated,” CNN quoted Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying. “We understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society. We will not submit to their wishes.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the video offers nothing new. “In New York, we understand we are a terrorist target. It reflects the importance of this city,” he said.
NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism John Miller said a similar video was released in April.
“This is an old video that was kind of rehashed,” he said. “This is ISIS doing what ISIS and al Qaeda and terrorist groups do, which is propaganda.”
“When we see the video, we make note of it, but it’s like a lot of videos we’ve seen,” Miller said.