War in Israel | NYPD boosts presence around five boroughs ahead of planned protests, rumored ‘day of jihad’

NYPD counterterrorism unit
NYPD Counterterrorism Unit in Times Square in December 2022.
Photo by Dean Moses

The NYPD is on high alert Friday over expected protests amid the ongoing war in Israel following last weekend’s Hamas terrorist attacks.

Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban and Governor Kathy Hochul held an emergency virtual briefing on Thursday to address alleged terrorist threats made by a former leader of Hamas.

During the briefing, city and state officials pledged to increase police visibility and rolled out safety measures across the Big Apple on Friday, while urging New Yorkers to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.

Top police brass likewise charged that every single member of the NYPD will be mobilized to counter threats.

The high alert comes after Khaled Mashal, a former high-ranking Hamas leader, demanded a “day of jihad” across the world in hopes of sparking mass violence following this week’s bloodshed in Israel. Mashal also asked for Muslims to “show anger” on Friday.

While there were no known crdible threats to the city, the NYPD and the Adams administration are taking no chances.

“We are deeply disturbed by the message of hate urging violence in our communities in this region and around the world. It is not acceptable,” Mayor Adams said.

Hochul stated that the National Guard will also be readied and will monitor access points to the city. She encouraged New Yorkers to “not let the terrorists win,” and to attend school, work and other affairs as normal on Friday.

Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul and other city officials attend security briefing on Israel war, Palestinian protests
Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul and other city officials attend security briefing on Israel war and Palestinian protests on Oct. 12, 2023.NYC Mayoral Photography Unit

The city is bracing for several large-scale protests on Oct. 13, including another controversial pro-Palestine demonstration set to unfold in Times Square during the afternoon.

Police say they are keeping a close eye on the developing protests, pledging “zero tolerance” for any acts of violence between Palestinian and Israeli New Yorkers, including acts of antisemitism or Islamophobia.

NYPD brass said New Yorkers can expect to see heightened security and several police checkpoints, especially around sensitive areas such as schools and houses of worship. Chief of Patrol John Chell said that they are ready to snuff out violent acts of any kind.

“We are currently getting our resources together, and we will be there just like we’ve been there all week to keep the peace. We will not tolerate any hate—any acts of disorder will be quelled quickly,” Chell said.

No tolerance for hatred

New York Attorney General Letitia James also weighed in on the security threats, warning against both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“Let me be clear: New York has zero tolerance for hate of any kind, not now and not ever. As we mourn the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives, there is no excuse or tolerance for antisemitism, Islamophobia, or bigotry and discrimination of any kind,” James said in a statement. “No New Yorker should fear walking in our streets because of what they wear, what they believe, or where and how they practice their faith. I encourage anyone who experiences a hate crime or bias incident to report it to my office.”

Earlier this week, several New York politicians, including Mayor Adams, pledged to stand in solidarity with Israel while also calling for Hamas to be destroyed.

“This was nasty. This was something that shows Hamas must be disbanded and destroyed. I am not here because I am your mayor,” Adams said. “I’m here today not only as the chief executive of this city, but I’m your brother.”