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FBI, police prepare for potential New Year's Eve threats

Officials are urging civilians to follow the advice of "If you see something, say something."

Published: December 31, 2023 11:41am

Federal and local law enforcement officials are preparing for potential threats to New Year's Eve celebrations amid rising tensions from the war between Israel and Hamas. 

New Year's Eve protests for Palestine are scheduled Sunday across the United States, including in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, WashingtonSt. Charles, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; ChicagoPhiladelphia and New York City. Some activists also issued global calls for action in support of Gaza over New Year's Eve. 

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced enhanced state security measures ahead of New Year's Eve to keep celebrations safe. 

For example, New York National Guard members are on duty this weekend to support law enforcement throughout New York City, including in the city's airports.

There have been threats to New York City, where more than 1 million people are expected to be out celebrating as the ball drops for 2024, New York's FBI Field Office Assistant Director James Smith told Fox News Digital. He also reassured the public that police are following up on all threats.

"I would say overall that, yes, there are threats out there, but we are out there to protect the community day in and day out," Smith said. "That's our mission – to protect the community of all threats."

Officials are also urging civilians to follow the advice of "If you see something, say something."

Some police officers in Times Square will be undercover while others will be wearing tactical gear. 

When asked if he has a message for New Yorkers, Smith said: "Have a good time. Do not worry. We are there to protect you." 

Pro-Palestine demonstrations started Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded Israel, killing about 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others. The protests have become particularly rambunctious on several occasions, with demonstrations becoming physical on several occasions. Meanwhile, hundreds of Jewish institutions across the United States received fake bomb threats over the month of December.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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