New York Needs to Have Counter-terrorism Council

A counter-terrorism advisory panel in New York was given the task coming up with preventive measures to protect New York against attacks.

The panel suggests that there needs to be stronger regulation of truck rentals, and suggest creating legislation that would ban weaponization and also prevent the use of dangerous usage of drones, and that there needs to be a way to “regulate and track” binary explosive targets that are commonly used in firearms practice.

After the report was released Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “As we’ve seen time and again, terrorism is an ever-present threat, and we will do everything in our power to help ensure that New Yorkers are safe from whatever extremists try to send our way. In order to continue to combat this changing and complex threat to New York, we will take concrete steps to implement the recommendations from our bipartisan national experts.”

More recommendations by the panel called for tougher security posture at airports, bridges, tourist attractions, and tunnels. They recommend that Cuomo have a senior counterterrorism advisor to oversee a multi-agency Statewide Counterterrorism Council which would involve the military, emergency services, Port Authority, and police.

The reported stated,

“The terrorist threat is not just about New York City. New York is the fourth-most populous state in the country with more than 50% of the population living outside the city. While focus often remains on the downstate risks, New York State covers nearly 55,000 square miles and has 445 miles of border with Canada and multiple borders with other states. New York also has mass gathering locations across the state. Rather than identifying these locations by name—which would only provide a road map to potential attackers—we recommend that New York ensure its state law enforcement functions as a seamless, coordinated unit across the state because any location where crowds get together is a potential security risk.”

The panel recommends that technology should be reviewed and utilized to the max capabilities possible. The panel suggests a three-stage review to study the capabilities of what could be done with public cameras, bomb disposal robots, automated license plate readers and more. For example, the report suggests that popular areas of travel such as Penn Station needs to have a 24/7 hour command center like what prisons have to keep on eye on prisoners.

“Nowhere is there a greater need for coordination than Penn Station. It’s the most heavily used train station in the Western Hemisphere: it serves 630,000 daily weekday travelers, more than LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports combined (and including over 200,000 daily weekday subway passengers), but its last major security overhaul was in the late 1960s. Obviously, the threat landscape has changed significantly since then.” the panel wrote.

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