While there aren't specific threats to NYC, heavily armed police officers have been sent off to Times Square as a preventative measure in response to the deadly Barcelona attack. The attack is just the recent in a list of deadly attacks throughout the U.S. and Europe in which terrorists have been using cars to cause causalities.
In August, 2016 a speeding truck killed at least 86 people in Nice, France. Three months later a vehicle attack on the Christmas markets in Berlin, Germany left 12 dead.
The terrifying incident in Spain has put American corps on high alert for related incidents, especially around Times Square.
The police department in New York is closely monitoring the situation in Spain, where a man drove a van onto a footway and sped down the pedestrian mall. The attack killed at least 14 people and left more than 100 others injured.
The New York Police Department chief of counter-terrorism Mr. James Waters maintained that security at Spanish areas of NYC had been tightened following attack in Spain. Waters said that the move to deploy more members of the law enforcement in the city is an attempt to assure local residents.
The attack came at a time when the police department had also beefed up security around Trump Tower for president Trump's visit there last week.
Governor Andrea Cuomo, in addition, instructed that lights on the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit in colors of Spanish flag – red and yellow.
The rogue driver who drove through crowds in Barcelona fled the scene. When the van stopped, the drive fled and there was no evidence he was armed, according eye witnesses. However, police officers have since arrested three suspects in connection with the attack. The arrests were carried out in different parts of the city. The first suspect is Driss Oukabir, who police believe to be the one who rented the vehicle used in the attack. The identity of the second suspect is still unknown. The third suspect was arrested and taken into custody on Friday. The police in Spain are still searching for the driver. They termed the Thursday incident as a terrorist attack.
The Islamic State of Iraq popular known as ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Barcelona. This was the worst terrorist attack in Spain since the 2004 train bombing in Madrid that left 193 people dead and dozens injured. The Barcelona attack was also the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain since that time.
Whether to express despair, get attention or promote jihad, extremists have used vans as weapons in recent years. While vehicles have been used for terrorist attacks for decades, the past one year has seen several vehicle ramming attacks in the U.S. and Europe. People have also witnessed car bombing incidents in the Middle East.
Drivers who targeted Barcelona, London and Nice used hired cars. This has also prompted calls to crack down on rental vehicles. However, it should be noted that not all vehicles used for attacks are driven by Islamic terrorists. Mentally challenged individuals have also drove vehicles through crowds in several incidents. Public settings such as Times Square will always be a great target for such incidents, thus the need for tight security.