Mayor: “Osama Is Dead, City Spirit Never Been Stronger”May 02, 2011
Speaking by the active World Trade Center construction site today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the city will remain on the defense following the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but not stall its rebuilding of the site of terror attacks in 1993 and 2001.
President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s death during an address to the nation late last night, saying the terrorist was killed during an operation led by the United States in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bloomberg said that it was “hard to have a smile on your face” at the site where more than 3,000 people died in a terrorist attack, but he stressed that the city must continue to rebuild and move forward.
“We come to say, with gratitude for the courageous men and women who made it possible, that the forces of freedom and justice have once again prevailed over those who use terror to pursue tyranny,” said the mayor. “Osama bin Laden is dead, and the World Trade Center site is teeming with new life. Osama bin Laden is dead, and Lower Manhattan is pulsing with new activity. Osama bin Laden is dead, and New York City’s spirit has never been stronger.”
Local officials say there is no specific security threat against the city, but Police Commissioner Ray Kelly sent out an alert to officers ordering a tightening of security at strategic parts of the five boroughs, including some helicopter surveillance, following the announcement of bin Laden’s death and to take a precaution against any possible terrorist retaliation.
“We certainly are not taking any chances,” said Kelly. “Our assumption is that bin Laden’s disciples would like nothing better than to avenge his death by another attack in New York. That is our current operating premise.” The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority say they are on high alert and have increased police presence and even some helicopter surveillance at strategic points in the five boroughs.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said there are no plans to raise the nationwide terror alert.