The NYPD has no evidence of terror threats against New York City for the anniversary of Sept. 11, but is taking precautions as if a plot is underway, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday.
Information uncovered at Osama bin Laden's compound after his death shows al-Qaida considered attacking trains on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
"For that reason alone, we need to take precautions as if an actual plot is under way," Kelly said.
Starting Saturday night, the NYPD plans to form a frozen zone around the World Trade Center site ahead of the Sunday ceremony.
Thousands of extra officers will descend on the area, and the security also will include 450 surveillance cameras trained on the site, Kelly said. Manhole covers will also be sealed.
The World Trade Center gathering is one of more than 30 commemorative events scheduled for the week that the department is laboring to protect, Kelly said.
"We don't presume that ground zero alone is a potential target," the commissioner said. "That would be shortsighted."
The department also will deploy "quick strike reaction forces" to respond to potential threats outside Lower Manhattan, Kelly said. The teams include officers in heavy armor, bomb squad technicians and hostage negotiators who will have highway patrol escorts on standby if needed.
New Yorkers will see more officers in the subways as well. Many will concentrate on busy transportation hubs such as Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station and the Herald Square subway station.
There are other security concerns: Extra patrols also will be deployed in Queens for Sunday's U.S. Open tennis finale.
And the department is gearing up for next week's U.N. General Assembly, working with the Secret Service to protect 130 heads of state and coordinate 220 motorcades, Kelly said.
"In other words, we have a lot on our plate," he said. "But we have the talent and the resources to deal with it."
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