BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Security was tight throughout Buffalo Monday, less than 48 hours after a bomb ripped through the night in New York’s Chelesa neighborhood.
From the U.S.-Canadian border to the rail lines and terminals of the NFTA, the increased presence was visible, by design.
“We have stepped up security efforts throughout our transit system, and at both airports, the subway system and our bus system,” said NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel. “You’ll see increased police visibility. We’re doing more car checks and vehicle checks at the airport.”
Buffalo officials said they’ve received no credible threats to the city, or what would be considered hard targets, like the airport or ground transit systems.
Even as the prime suspect in this weekend’s bombings, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was taken down after a shootout with police in Linden, N.J., early Monday, local agencies were on high alert.
But they’re also asking the public to step up its efforts as well.
“A lot of what was discovered this weekend were from individuals who came forward and reported what they were seeing,” Minkel said.
The region’s top federal attorney said people may have information they don’t even know is important.
“It seems like the public really provided substantial information, as they have in my experience here in WNY,” said U.S. Attorney William Hochul. “Law enforcement simply can’t be in all places at all times, and whether it be the observation of a pipe that looks out of place or a box that may have wires coming from it, those are critically important details for us to receive in law enforcement.”
Monday’s the 28-year-old Rahami, less than 48 hours after authorities say he planted explosives that injured 29 people, is a reminder that terrorism — whether homegrown or international — is not that far away.
Especially considering twice in 2016, Hochul won federal prosecutions of two men with ties to ISIS.
Rahami didn’t go down without a fight Monday, in a shootout with police about four hours from Buffalo. But the takedown of ISIS sympathizer and recruiter Mufid Elfgeeh about 45 minutes away in Rochester was much more peaceful.
And during his prosecution, another suspected ISIS sympathizer, Emmanuel Lutchman, was brought to justice.
Those cases and others are the direct result of local counter terrorism efforts.
“We certainly are no stranger to terrorist type attacks or attempts here in WNY, and we’re also very successful in working with the public to identify threats and to bring them to justice,” Hochul said.