UPDATED 9:38 AM PT – Monday, December 28, 2020
New York police officers are on edge as they fear for their lives amid a rise in terror threats. On Sunday, NYPD officers evacuated the Empire State Building after responding to a possible bomb threat.
Around 11 a.m.local time, officers said they received a call from an unknown caller stating a bomb would go off at noon. Upon arrival, however, NYPD officers found no explosives anywhere near or on the iconic building.
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) December 27, 2020
This came just two days after a bomb rocked downtown Nashville, further raising concerns of such bombings around the U.S. Authorities in Nashville said police could have been the targets in the Christmas blast.
“When you come in and out of your precinct, or wherever you work out of, you have to be aware that there may be people that are watching you, surveilling you, following you to see where you’ll go, to see where you live,” security expert Manny Gomez stated.
The department’s quick response came weeks after an internal report suggested officers could be the targets of terrorist attacks. The report warned officers of possible homemade bomb attacks, which could involve IED’s and car bombs.
Additionally, the report cited alleged al-Qaeda propaganda circulating in recent months, which urges radicals to to attack priority targets. This includes police and soldiers.
Officials noted limitations imposed on officers from the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘defund the police’ policies are dwindling officers’ abilities to defend themselves.
“They’re capitalizing on the ‘defund the police’ and anti-police issues,” Gomez added. “They’re targeting police officers when they have less resources than they had before this.”
NYPD officers have been targeted in recent and past alleged terrorist attacks with the most recent happening in June. Three officers were attacked in what authorities called an “Islamist terrorist attack.” Two of the officers were stabbed and one was shot.
Additionally, one bystander was accidentally killed in 2018 by a homemade bomb targeting a police officer.