New York police ramped up security at synagogues and other Jewish institutions on Monday following the deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said tightened surveillance and increased patrols at more than 40 locations citywide came in response to the Toulouse attack and not in response to a specific threat against New York City.
“We know that we’re the top of the terrorist target list, so we’re concerned about the so-called copy-cat syndrome where someone might see the events unfolding in Toulouse and take it upon themselves to act out,” Kelly told reporters.
He said the additional coverage includes some undercover officers “but it’s largely increased uniformed presence at houses of worship and other locations.”
A gunman on a motorbike shot dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday, just days after apparently killing three soldiers nearby.
New York City, home to more than 1.4 million Jews, has the largest Jewish population of any metropolitan area outside of Israel, said Levi Fishman, spokesman UJA-Federation of New York.
Following attacks abroad, the department typically reinforces security at corresponding targeted locations in New York such as hotels or the mass transit system.
Reporting By Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Philip Barbara