NYPD’s Ray Kelly: Boston Bombers Represent New Jihadist Threat
“I see this as an ongoing pattern. We’ve seen these radicalized young men do, or try to do, similar things,’’ Kelly told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“We’ve had 16 plots here against the city, many of them involving young, disaffected men who are committed to killing Americans.’’
Kelly said those threats have remained “relatively constant’’ and “we don’t see it waning.’’
“What we do see is a shift from the sort of organized, top-down direction than we saw early on after 9/11 from al-Qaida to a more free-form, do-what-you-can approach,’’ Kelly said.
“[That’s] where individuals will get, in essence, radicalized on the Internet. They usually have someone who is a sanctioner that leads them along or mentors them.’’
He pointed to a 2007 study conducted by two of the NYPD’s top intelligence analysts that looked at the radicalization process of future terrorists.
“[They are] what they call unremarkable young men who go into four phases of jihadization,’’ Kelly said.
“They’re looking for a place in the world. They’re looking for meaning, looking for a cause. … They decide to get jihad. And after that decision is made, they can act pretty quickly.’’
Kelly said security in New York City was heightened immediately following the Boston Marathon explosions last week, but has since returned to normal levels.
“We see ourselves at a higher level all the time. We invest heavily in counterterrorism. We have 1,000 police officers … every day doing counterterrorism duties,’’ Kelly said.
“That’s certainly a higher number, percentage-wise … than any city I’m aware of. But, you know, there are no guarantees in this business. We know that big cities are vulnerable. We have an open society and things can happen here.’’
Kelly said it is still unclear as to whether the two brothers implicated in the bombings acted on their own.
“That is probably still an open question. … Two people are in custody who sort of helped their cause after they knew that they had committed the bombing,’’ he said.
“I’d like to have a little more time go by before we make a final determination of that. But the initial indication is that they did it on their own.’’
Kelly is monitoring the breaking terrorism case in Canada — in which authorities Monday arrested two men for allegedly plotting an al-Qaida attack on a passenger train traveling between Canada and the United States.
“We have police agencies involved in Amtrak in the northeastern part of the country,’’ Kelly said.
“We have almost daily communication. So, the protection, if you will, on the railroad lines in the country is probably as good as it’s ever been. No guarantees there, either, but we’re certainly working in a coordinated fashion.’’