Gov. Cuomo orders stepped-up security; no specific terror threat

(AP) -- New York is starting to deploy National Guard troops and additional police to beef up security at major transit points and other locations in response to a heightened threat of terrorism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, accompanied by state lawmakers, said Friday that the stepped-up security is already underway and likely to last months, but it isn't in response to any specific threat.

Cuomo said the increased tensions with international terrorist organizations are undeniable.

"It's also undeniable New York is a possible target of a terrorist attack, either in retaliation for actions this country may be taking or as an offensive gesture," he said. "Our responsibility is to make sure we're doing everything that is prudent to be ready, to be prepared and to anticipate."

A formal announcement of a joint plan with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planned next week. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be involved, with strengthened security at airports, trains and terminals, as well as police in New York City and the greater metropolitan area, Cuomo said.

He said the increased security will be visible, with hundreds of additional personnel deployed, and it will cost the state tens of millions of dollars in the short term.

"The issue of money is really irrelevant," said Sen. Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican and co-leader of the state Senate. He said there's no question there are groups that want to hurt and kill people in New York.

"New Yorkers know this great international city is a top target for terrorists," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat. "The 9/11 attacks taught up painful lessons of the need for vigilance."

Jetliners hijacked by terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center towers in his district in 2001, killing almost 3,000 people.

Silver noted that the Jewish High Holy Days are coming up, as well as the United Nations meeting in New York, which further stretches the police. "This is a critical time to set forth a coordinated plan to respond to the potential threats that may exist," he said.

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