By Elizabeth VanMetre
Less than 24 hours after the NYPD said that it was increasing security around New York City’s mosques after Sunday’s attack on a mosque in Canada, there was not one patrol car in sight at 8:30 p.m. Monday night in front of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York on 3rd Avenue and 96th Street.
A source close to the Terrorism Task Force says the NYPD hasn’t quite beefed up security as much as they’d hoped, however.
“It’s all about man power and [there’s] only enough to carefully watch the mosques while they are open,” a police source told NYCLens. “[The officers] will wait until the last person leaves the building but then have to move on.”
The source, who did not want his name used, says while this is not the ideal situation, police officers are also doing random drop-ins to areas considered “sensitive spots,” such as hair salons or certain restaurants owned by Muslims. So far, there have been no incidents in the city.
Patrolling will continue for the next couple of days but the exact number will “depend on intelligence,” the source said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday that the “NYPD is providing additional protection for mosques in the city. All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something.”
Six were killed and 19 wounded when 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire in a Quebec City mosque on Sunday. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a “terrorist attack against Muslims.”
“It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear,” Trudeau said in a statement. “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country. Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance.”
Bissonette was charged with six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder on Monday.