NYC ramps up security after Iran general killed

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

FILE – In this May 29, 2016, file photo, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis listens to a question during an interview in Fallujah, Iraq. Al-Muhandis, a veteran Iraqi militant who was closely allied with Iran, was killed overnight Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 in a U.S. strike that also felled Iran’s top general. Al-Muhandis was the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Shiite paramilitaries. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that he believed the U.S. was now in a “de-facto state of war with Iran” and that New Yorkers should be prepared for the possibility of retaliatory terrorist attacks following the killing of Iran’s top general. “I’m not saying this to be alarmist,” de Blasio said at a City Hall press conference. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said residents and tourists could expect to see more heavily armed officers in public places.

Shea and the NYPD’s counterterrorism chief, John Miller, stressed that the department had no information at this time about any planned or potential attacks, and they declined to go into detail on the steps being taken to ensure security, but asked the public to be vigilant for suspicious behavior.

De Blasio, a Democrat, said he was glad the general, Qassem Soleimani, was dead. He called him a terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths. “He was a horrible human being and I’m glad he’s gone,” de Blasio said. But the mayor said he believed the U.S. should not go to war with Iran and that any military action needs to be authorized by Congress.

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