Over a million revelers are expected to flock to New York City on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming of 2018, many of whom will pack into Times Square for the countdown. City officials have announced unprecedented levels of security to help thwart any terror attacks that might be launched on the huge crowds.
Standard security measures will be deployed as usual, including sand trucks, blocker vehicles, closed cross streets, and truck restrictions, WABC reported. While the New York Police Department claims that there are no active terror threats on its radar, new efforts will be put into place to stop any plots before they can be carried out.
Officers will be deployed to parking garages in a wide radius around Times Square, shutting some down and subjecting others to higher levels of scrutiny. The department’s hotel team will also be on a more cautious patrol this year, while large truck rental locations and other places where attackers could procure vehicles will be closely monitored.
Truck restrictions may also go into effect earlier in the day, potentially causing traffic situations in other parts of the city as a result.
Some experts are warning that a vigilant and informed public is key to stopping and mitigating terror threats at a time when lone wolf attacks have become more common.
“It’s very possible that our traditional intelligence techniques for detecting threats are not well suited to uncover potential attacks,” said John Cohen, a former DHS counterterrorism coordinator and ABC News contributor. “In the current threat environment, the public plays a major role in both helping to detect potential attacks and being prepared in the event they find themselves at a location where an attack is unfolding.”
In October, an ISIS-linked Uzbek national carried out a truck attack in New York City, killing eight and injuring 11. Earlier this month, a would-be suicide bomber only managed to hurt himself in a bungled attack on Manhattan subway commuters.