Published On: Tue, Nov 21st, 2023
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New York terror attack fears soar as Gaza war escalates | US | News

New York is on high alert for a possible terror attack due to the escalating violence in Gaza, according to an intelligence report.

The New York State Intelligence Center has warned #the conflict is fueling online threats and radicalization, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul to bolster security measures.

The report seen by CBS suggests the intensifying Israeli operations against Hamas in Gaza and rising civilian casualties could spur violent extremists to target the West, particularly New York.

It highlighted potential attacks on ‘soft targets’ like protests, group gatherings, and public events.

Governor Hochul acknowledged the growing terror threat to NYC and assured that authorities are working diligently to uncover and investigate online threats linked to the Gaza violence.

READ MORE: Hamas leader says the group is ‘close to reaching a truce agreement’ with Israel

She said: “I am working hard at the state level with the control I have. I’ll be talking about this tomorrow, about exactly what we’re doing, and how many online threats we’ve uncovered, how many have been investigated, what the outcome is.”

The intelligence center warned that the rise of antisemitic and anti-Palestinian chatter on social media is fueling a surge in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, and Arabs.

“The expansion of Israeli operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and increase in civilian casualties raises the likelihood that violent extremist threat actors will seek to conduct attacks against targets in the West, with New York State being a focus. Terrorist messaging has placed focus on attacking ‘soft targets’ such as protests, group gatherings, and other public events,” the report added.

Last week, Hochul added $2.5million to additional State Police investigators to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester. “We are working with all law enforcement, federal, state, and local, statewide. These are not just New York City events,” said Hochul.

The FBI said they made an arrest last week in Houston after expressing support in “killing individuals of certain faiths”.

FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed his concerns, saying: “Our most immediate concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives.”

He added: “That includes not just homegrown violent extremists, inspired by a foreign terrorist organization, but also domestic violent extremists targeting Jewish or Muslim communities. We’ve already seen that with the individual we arrested last week in Houston.”

It comes after the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force reported a shocking rise in anti-Jewish incidents, with a 214 percent increase in October alone.

Bias incidents overall have also seen a significant surge, up by 124 percent.

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