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Intel from Iraq Raids Leads to New York City Security Hike

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2005 – Information from Iraq collected by the U.S. military and passed through the chain of command to other U.S. federal agencies was part of New York City's decision to announce a security alert on its mass transit system, defense officials confirmed today.

New York City raised its security posture late Oct. 6 after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced during a news conference Oct. 6 that a specific threat had been made against the city's subway system.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that information obtained by the military in Iraq is linked to New York's decision to heighten its security posture.

Iraqi security forces and coalition members in Iraq conducted a raid to follow up on the information, he said.

Parts of Penn Station, the country's busiest railroad station, were closed today, and police officers are guarding subway entrances and searching commuters' bags, according to news reports.

In addition, New York Gov. George Pataki activated 200 additional New York Army National Guard troops to support security operations in New York's train and subway stations following Bloomberg's announcement, said Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The troops will remain on duty for 30 days, augmenting the 300-member force the New York Guard has maintained in New York since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Krenke said.

Officials declined to release details about specific information gathered in Iraq that ultimately led to the security hike, noting that it could jeopardize U.S. intelligence operations.

The Department of Homeland Security, the lead U.S. agency in the case, currently has no plans to alter the national threat level, or the threat level for New York City, which already is high.

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