New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement this morning directing the Office of Emergency Management in the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHS) to increase monitoring of Fourth of July celebrations and urging New Yorkers to be on alert of suspicious activity during the holiday weekend. Cuomo announced precautions a week after the FBI and DHS issued a federal terror warning for Independence Day weekend and terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.
"We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," Gov. Cuomo said in the statement. "In response to the warning by the federal government, New York State is taking steps to increase monitoring and communication with local, state and federal emergency management and law enforcement partners through the holiday weekend."
DHS released a statement last Friday acknowledging increased security and communication measures for the Fourth of July weekend, citing terror attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia and France as well as the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
"We continue to encourage all Americans to attend public events and celebrate this country during this summer season, but always remain vigilant," said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in the statement.
On June 26, a gunman killed at least 37 people at a beach resort in Tunisia and a suicide bomber killed at least 25 in Kuwait. The same day, a man rammed his car into a factory in southeastern France and left a severed head at the entrance to the factory.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we're sitting here in a week from today talking about an attack over the weekend in the United States. That's how serious this is," said Michael Morell, CBS News senior security contributor and former CIA deputy director, Monday on "CBS This Morning." He added "there's nothing routine about this particular one to me," and that he was particularly concerned about Americans who might align themselves with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Additional staff will be operating the Emergency Operations Center through Saturday, according the federal statement.
"As we celebrate with family and friends this Independence Day, I urge all New Yorkers to not only remember the freedoms that we hold dear, but also remain cautious of their surroundings and learn to recognize and report suspicious activity," said Cuomo in his statement.