Kelly: We’re Watching Hezbollah


The NYPD’s counterterrorism personnel are keeping "a close eye on Hezbollah" in the wake of recent clashes between the Iran-backed militia and Israel in Lebanon, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told Jewish community leaders in a briefing Tuesday to discuss security issues before the High Holy Days.

"We know that, like al Qaeda, their reach is global," said Kelly. "They are very much on our radar screen." Noting that Friday was both the eve of Rosh HaShanah and the date Israel has announced it will withdraw remaining troops from Lebanon, Kelly said the department was on alert for signs of trouble, but said there was no specific threat. He later said there was no indication of any Hezbollah activity in New York other than fundraising for the group, which is illegal under federal law.

Kelly and other police officials called on synagogue and other institutional leaders to keep in touch with local precinct commanders about their event schedules, to conduct "table-top exercises" of contingency plans for an emergency and to report all suspicious activity by calling (888) NYC-SAFE.

"New York is the safest big city in the country, and the last place a terrorist should think about visiting," Kelly said. "We plan to keep it that way."