A potentially deadly hostage standoff is "inevitable" in New York City, according to the NYPD's top counterterrorism chief. Speaking in reference to Monday's crisis in Sydney, Australia, which resulted in the deaths of two hostages and a solitary gunman, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller said, "I think it's less a question of if, more a question of when."
Miller made the remarks earlier today on "CBS This Morning" where he rattled off a list of recent atrocities including the recent deadly shooting near Canadian Parliament, a deranged man's hatchet-wielding attack on two NYPD officers, and the Sydney siege as ominous signs that terrorism is alive and well both at home and abroad.
"This is a part of the culture of the marketing of violence by terrorist groups," Miller, a former CBS News senior correspondent, told CBS.
The intelligence commissioner was nonetheless quick to boast that New York has a "distinct advantage" when dealing with terrorist attacks, citing 13 years of extra preparedness and the multitudes of NYPD staff devoted solely to stopping a new attack. “If you take a small scenario at one location as we saw in Sydney, or a wider cast like the Mumbai attacks, we’re one of the few cities that is scaled to meet that,” Miller said.
So: Be afraid, but not too afraid, because the NYPD will protect you! (Unless it kills you!) And when the next terrorist attack happens, remember the bad-ass visionary who predicted it.
Miller declined to give specifics when asked what lessons the NYPD has learned in the wake of the Sydney attack, but the Times reports that new anti-terror law measures, passed by Australian parliament this fall, were ineffective in stopping the lone gunman, who had had a long history of run-ins with police but "did not travel overseas and was not believed to be part of a gang or a terrorist network."