NYU Reacts: ISIS security threat
Over the past weekend, New York City subway stations have been under increased security measures by the New York Police Department and National Guard because of multiple threats made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
At the U.N. summit last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi intelligence agents had been informed that ISIS is plotting to attack the New York and Paris Metro systems.
Mayor Bill de Blasio assured residents there are no confirmed threats to New York City or the MTA system, and New Yorkers are safe to commute on subways as usual.
NYPD officers are stationed on trains and around the stations, focusing greatly on the more populated sites, such as the subway station located in Times Square. There were counterterrorism cars deployed at transit hubs, accompanied by detection dogs capable of sniffing out explosives. Some commuters were asked to open their bags at temporary security checkpoints and the police were present in major locations throughout the city.
NYU students have shared their thoughts on these potential threats.
“I took the metro on Saturday to pick up my boyfriend from the airport and there were police officers at the stations as well as on the trains and, for the first time, I felt very uncomfortable and unsafe in my own country.” — Alyssa Vu, Silver sophomore
“I’m definitely more aware of my surroundings and alert when I’m on the subway. I still take the subway whenever I need to though.” — Ben Glidden, Steinhardt senior
“I believe that all threats coming from ISIS should be taken very seriously; however, in doing so we shouldn’t unnecessarily and arbitrarily infringe on civil liberties and must meet their threats with a dedicated and focused strategy,” — Ramya Sundaram, CAS junior
“I’ve definitely noticed an increase in NYPD in every station, but I don’t feel unsafe when I’m riding it. I’ve also taken classes on terrorism in the past where we’ve talked about how vulnerable the subway is so I generally think about the risks of riding the subway whenever I ride it.” — Meredith Korda, Gallatin senior
“The possibility of New York being attacked definitely scared me a bit. But what bothers me is that the police said that they think that we’re completely safe, because they have no real evidence to back that up. ” — Olivia Wetzell, CAS sophomore
“When you move to NYC, especially after 9/11, you subconsciously or consciously know that there will always be a price that comes with living here. The threat is always imminent, regardless if ISIS claims that there is one or not. But living in fear is pointless, people can threaten our city all they want, our lives will continue to go on like before, and now, as we identify ourselves as New Yorkers, the only thing that may change is our will to protect the place that we consider home,” — Bianca Petcu, Steinhardt junior
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 30 print edition. Email Christine Park at [email protected]