NEW YORK — The NYPD is hunting down those responsible for the surge in anti-gay calls and terror threats that have been hitting the Big Apple since last week's horrific mass murder inside an LGBT nightclub in Orlando — and it expects to make arrests in time for Pride Week, sources tell DNAinfo New York.
Investigators from the NYPD's Intelligence Division have called upon detectives from local precinct squads to help track the copycats responsible for the surge in anti-gay and terrorist missives and phone calls that followed purported ISIS follower Omar Mateen's attack that killed 49 and wounded 53.
An NYPD insider told "On the Inside" that even non-threatening but "distasteful calls" or messages are being investigated as possible aggravated harassment, hate crimes or terroristic threats, depending on the statements, and "we are looking to make arrests wherever possible."
"Not every threat is the same, however, we are treating all of them seriously," an insider said.
The NYPD has been scouring social media and various websites to run down people behind ugly rants and threats, and detectives from local precinct squads have been visiting homes of possible suspects, sources said.
Since the massacre, the Big Apple and the NYPD has been beset with threats and anti-gay missives that range from letters left on parked cars in Chelsea to phone threats to calls threatening to shoot up bars in Bushwick and Midtown.
Police officials declined to say how many threats they have received, or how many arrests have been made, hoping to avoid encouraging more copycat activities.
But Commissioner Bill Bratton has characterized the people behind the threats as “cowards” and “knuckleheads,” who hide anonymously in the shadows of the web or their cell phones.
“We have the personnel, experience, tools and capability to safely police these events and those resources are already being put to use,” he continued.
Police sources say a massive police presence will be out in force through next Sunday's PrideFest parade, with a phalanx of detectives and patrol officers in uniform.
Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio have urged New Yorkers to come out for the parade and enjoy the festivities.
“Hopefully, the LGBT community will find that any traditional mistrust of the police may wind up being replaced by gratitude as our cops do all they can to keep them safe,” a source said.
“Suffice it to say, we have been very busy since Sunday's attack in Orlando, and will continue to be so through Gay Pride Day.”