By Jennifer Glickel
MIDTOWN WEST — New York City has avoided at least nine major terrorist plots since 9/11 thanks to the vigilance and tenacity of the NYPD, FBI, and New Yorkers themselves.
From a thwarted al-Qaeda plot to send poison gas to strike the New York City subway system in Feb. 2003 to four men who were arrested in June 2007 for plotting to blow up fuel pipelines at John F. Kennedy Airport, the NYPD and federal authorities have worked tirelessly to prevent another attack anywhere near the scale of 9/11 from hitting New York City.
The knowledge that Saturday's attempted Times Square car bombing was just one of nine attacks on New York City thwarted by authorities since 9/11 drew mixed reactions from New Yorkers on the Monday following the bomb scare.
"I think they're [authorities] doing a great job since nothing has happened," said Carlos, a 39-year-old plumber who withheld his last name.
Kenny Browne, 40, said it made him feel "safer" knowing that attempted attacks on the city — like the 2003 threat to the subway system and the August 2004 conspiracy to plant a bomb at the Herald Square subway station — had been stopped by police.
But others feel it is just a matter of time before a planned act of terrorism is carried out successfully.
"I think New York City is such a densely populated city with so much going on that it would be impossible for all future attacks to be thwarted," said Lenore Ades, 39, a psychologist who lives on the Upper West Side. "I live with that reality every day, but have to push it out of my mind to go on with my life."
But Ades said that it comforted her to know that nine planned attacks had been derailed "because it means the authorities are working hard."
On the other side of the spectrum are those like Elana Smith, 28, who believes that New Yorkers get too worked up about potential terror threats.
"Nine thwarted attacks doesn't seem like a lot to me, and I think it shows we're in more of an alarmist state than we need to be," said Smith.
"I think the authorities do a wonderful job, but I think we live in a much safer environment than people realize."