HARLEM — Independence Day celebrations around the city and state will be more closely monitored after the federal government issued a warning against lone wolf terrorist attacks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Division of Homeland Security to monitor July 4th celebrations Saturday.
“We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In response to the warning by the federal government, New York State is taking steps to increase monitoring and communication with our local, state, and federal emergency management and law enforcement partners through the holiday weekend."
The joint alert issued by the federal government comes after lone wolf terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France on June 26 left dozens dead.
"Particularly with the upcoming July 4th holiday, here in the United States the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI continue to communicate with state and local law enforcement about what we know and see," Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said in a statement.
Some of those attacks are believed to have been carried out by The Islamic State or ISIS. Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS has encouraged lone wolf attacks around the globe.
"We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared. We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people," Johnson added.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton recently announced that 300 new officers will be assigned to a unit dedicated solely to counterterrorism.
Federal, city and state officials say there has been no specific threat. Additional staff will be placed at New York state's Emergency Operations Center. Cuomo urged New Yorkers to remain aware.
"I urge all New Yorkers to not only remember the freedoms that we hold dear, but also remain cautious of their surroundings and learn to recognize and report suspicious activity," the governor added.