Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says NYC is ready for a possible retaliation attack following the killing of US-born militant Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
Awlaki was killed in a CIA drone attack in a remote Yemeni town Friday. According to U.S. Intelligence officials, he was identified as the "chief of external operations" for al Qaeda's Yemen branch and a web-savvy terrorist who spread propaganda for Muslim extremism.
Commissioner Kelly said in a statement, "We know al-Awlaki had followers in the United States including New York City, and for that reason we remain alert to the possibility that someone might want to avenge his death. He was a powerful recruiter of terrorists in the United States."
Kelly was also pleased to hear about the reported death of Samir Khan. Khan is an American of Pakistani origin who officials said they believed was killed in the same drone attack.
"Khan had extensive contacts in New York City and published the English-language Inspire Magazine, which instructed lone wolves on how to build bombs at home, and in the most recent issue identified Grand Central Station as a target," Kelly said.
The NYPD and intelligence services say they have disrupted at least 11 plots against the city since the 2001 attacks. Police Commissioner Kelly reiterated that report he told "60 Minutes" on Sunday, September 24.
In Washington, the US State Department issued a worldwide alert to US citizens Saturday warning them of possible retaliation for the death of American-born terror mastermind Anwar al Awlaki and the likely death of al Qaeda propagandist Samir Khan.
President Barack Obama called the death of Awlaki, which was confirmed Friday, a "major blow" to terrorist organization al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
"The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals or groups seeking to retaliate against US citizens or interests because of this action," the State Department warned.