UPDATE 8:05 EST: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released the following statement Wednesday night in response to an Islamic State group propaganda video threatening a suicide bombing of Times Square:
Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated. The NYPD is the most capable police force in the country, with a robust counterterrorism operation that was just strengthened with an investment of 500 additional officers. While Times Square and Herald Square appear in the video, the NYPD in conjunction with all of our partners are taking all necessary security precautions in these areas and areas across the City. New Yorkers won't live in fear and people should continue to go to work, live their lives, and enjoy the greatest city in the world.
The New York Police Department responded Wednesday evening to an Islamic State group propaganda video that appeared to feature suicide bombers in New York City’s Times Square, implying a threat to the city. In the statement, the NYPD said there was no specific threat to the city at this time.
“We are aware of the newly released ISIL video that mentions Times Square. While some of the video footage is not new, the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target,” Stephen Davis, deputy commissioner of public information for the NYPD, said in a statement about the Islamic State group, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.
“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. In addition, we are continuing to deploy additional Critical Response Command (CRC) teams throughout the City, out of an abundance of caution.”
MSNBC described the video Wednesday as a newly released ISIS video containing footage from April; Vocativ had reported on the existence of the video in April. In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks that claimed at least 129 lives Friday, ISIS has released a flurry of videos claiming responsibility for the attacks, warning of more violence to come and re-purposing the footage of a man appearing to prepare for a suicide bombing of Times Square.
The three-minute clip had been broadcasted on ISIS’s al-Hayat media network, which is a propaganda arm that focuses on a Western audience, according to Vocativ. In the video, a terrorist is shown preparing a suicide belt, intercut with scenes of New York’s iconic Times Square, after which the "bomber" pulls the pin. Images of President Barack Obama, former Pentagon Press Secretary Adm. John Kirby and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey are also featured in the clip.