Police have flooded the streets, subways, and bridges of the city as they search for suspects in a "specific, credible but unconfirmed threat" involving car bombs to coincide with the tenth anniversary of 9/11. One NYPD lieutenant on patrol told the News that the heightened-security was unprecedented: "In more than 40 years, I've never seen this kind of all-out attention." Another NYPD official made a more specific connection to the current mobilization: "This is our version of Bush's shock and awe. The idea is to scare off a sophisticated network - let alone three men."
Authorities are trying to track down three men who traveled by plane to the U.S. last month from Afghanistan. One of the men is said to be an American citizen, while the other two may have had U.S. documentation to get into the country. The names of all three are known to investigators, but they were said to be too common to provide much direction.
However, Vice President Joe Biden says authorities are just as worried about a "lone actor" with a bomb as a coordinated group. One NY man has been arrested and charged with trying to join a jihadist group in Pakistan's tribal areas, although officials say it is not related to the current 9/11 anniversary terror alert.
Many NYers weren't thrilled with how the additional security measures have disrupted their lives: “The traffic is insane! Bloomberg says to go about your business, but you can’t go about your business because of traffic,” Steve Troz, who was stuck in traffic on Central Park South caused because of police vehicle checkpoints, railed to the Post. "This is ridiculous. Are they really going to stop every truck?" Jennifer Hicks told the News as she sat on a slow-moving M103 bus.
“When I got off the ‘A’ train on Fulton Street, I saw guys with assault rifles. My nerves are still rattled, but you try and move on the best you can," Cynthia Bizarro, who works at the city Buildings Department, told the Post. Many others refused to gripe, and said the precautions made them "feel a little safer," but for some there would only be one thing to take the anxiety away: “I think only a nuclear warhead-proof tent would make me feel safe," said Carolyn Kim.