Monday, September 26, 2011

I guess they can't rely on the US military to do it...

NYPD anti-terrorism squad equipped to take down planes if necessary

BY Joe Kemp

Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the NYPD now has the capability to take down a plane if necessary.

In a "60 Minutes" interview that airs on CBS Sunday night, Kelly said the department's counterterrorism unit is prepared to thwart an oncoming plane if it's deemed a threat.

"Well, it's something that's on our radar screen," Kelly told Scott Pelley of the news show. "I mean in an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane."

He did not elaborate on what methods the NYPD would use but a police source said, "NYPD Aviation has weapons that caould be deployed with that capability."

Kelly discussed the precautions made before the General Assembly meeting at the United Nations this week, just days after a threat was made to attack the city on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Snipers on rooftops, divers in the East River and helicopters equipped with radiation detection equipment were just some of the measures taken by the NYPD to safely escort President Obama inside the U.N. building.

Kelly also boasted the technology used in the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative - a web of about 2,000 downtown cameras that can detect a suspicious package and sound an alarm, and even search for a particular suspect, like one wearing a red shirt.

The commissioner said the growing technology is a necessary tool to fight terrorism in the city, where several plots have been squashed.

"We're the number one target in this country," Kelly said. "We're the communications capital. We're the financial capital. We're a city that's been attacked twice successfully. We've had 13 terrorist plots against the city since Sept. 11. No other city has had that."

He added that the NYPD has also been a deterrent to would-be terrorists.

"That's our message: stay away," he said.


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