Hollywood actors canceled their planned picket today as security concerns were stoked by the Hamas leader’s promised “global day of jihad.”
All major municipal police departments across the country are on high alert today in anticipation of pro-Hamas or pro-Palestine rallies.
In New York City, the NYPD canceled planned officer furloughs and placed every one of its 33,500 uniformed police officers on duty.
In Chicago, police have increased their presence around synagogues and Jewish schools following a bomb threat earlier this week. White House officials insist there is no specific domestic threat but say police and intelligence agencies will remain on high alert.
In France, a teacher was killed and others injured in a suspected terrorist knife attack.
Members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Counterterrorism Unit patrol Times Square as the city takes security precautions ahead of planned demonstrations, in New York City, USA, October 12, 2023
A police officer with a dog patrols the grounds of the US Capitol
U.S. Capitol Police secure the U.S. Capitol in response to a “Day of Rage” call on October 13, 2023
In Baghdad, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered peacefully to protest, while others burned Israeli flags in Malaysia.
Several pro-Palestine rallies are planned for today in New York City, the largest of which will take place in Times Square this afternoon.
Security alerts were received in nearby office buildings about the protest.
“Every member of the New York Police Department will be ready and in uniform tomorrow,” NYPD Chief John Chell told reporters last night before the event.
“We will not tolerate hatred and disorder, it will be suppressed quickly and we will be ready.”
Hochul said the New York National Guard has already been ordered to patrol major transportation hubs.
Across the country, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement saying its officers would be paying more attention to Jewish and Muslim communities “during this unimaginable time.”
Federal law enforcement agencies were also on alert.
Increased police presence outside the Barclays Center ahead of a preseason game between the Brooklyn Nets and Maccabi Ra’anana
Police patrol a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish community on October 12, 2023 in New York City. Across New York City and much of the country, security has increased around synagogues and other Jewish cultural institutions following last weekend’s Hamas attacks in Israel
“The FBI is aware of open source reports of calls for global action on Friday, October 13, that could lead to demonstrations in communities across the United States,” the agency said in a statement.
“The FBI urges the public to remain vigilant.”
At least one Arab American advocacy group pointed to a more hostile attitude by U.S. law enforcement toward Muslim groups than toward Jews.
The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee said Thursday that FBI agents had visited a number of mosques in various states and individual U.S. citizens with Palestinian roots, calling it a “disturbing trend.”
“We received several calls today regarding Palestinian nationals detained by ICE and/or visited by the FBI,” the organization’s national executive director, Abed Ayoub, said on X, formerly called Twitter.
Rabbi Yoni Fein, who runs Brauser Maimonides Academy, a large Jewish day school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said that “there is definitely heightened alert for operations” in anticipation of Friday’s global protests.
He said the FBI, U.S. Homeland Security officials and other federal agencies have held online security webinars with Jewish institutions across the country.
But Fein said the school wanted to reassure students that they were safe and could move on with their lives.
Rather than giving in to the heightened concern that Fein said surrounds the Jewish community, he said the academy’s message to its students and their families is to reassure them that “their homes are safe, their schools are safe and that their trusted adults Keep them safe.’