New York City police on Thursday increased their presence on subways and streets after the Iraqi prime minister warned of a potential threat to transit systems from Islamist militants, Reuters reported.
Still, mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner William Bratton sought to reassure residents there was no specific, credible threat to the subway system or the city in general, the report said.
“We are convinced New Yorkers are safe,” De Blasio said at a press conference at a lower Manhattan subway station.
Earlier on Thursday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his nation has “credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States.
Abadi said he received the information Thursday morning from militants captured in Iraq and concluded it was credible after requesting further details. The attacks, he said, were plotted from inside Iraq by “networks” of the Islamic State.
“They plan to have attacks in the metros of Paris and the US,” Abadi told reporters while in New York for the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly. “I asked for more credible information. I asked for names. I asked for details, for cities, you know, dates. And from the details I have received, yes, it looks credible.”
Some Iraqi officials in Baghdad questioned Abadi’s comments. One high-level Iraqi government official told Reuters it appeared to be based on “ancient intelligence”. Another called it “an old story”.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to US President Barack Obama, said the US had “not confirmed any specific threat”.
French security services also had no information confirming Abadi’s statement, according to a French government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
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