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UN General Assembly to be held amid rising political violence

NYPD officials acknowledged that the rise in political violence was concerning.

September 14, 2023, 5:15 p.m.

As New York police insist there are no credible threats against this year’s United Nations General Assembly, law enforcement officials worry that next week’s annual gathering of world leaders occurs in a context of increased political violence, both at home and abroad.

“There is no credible threat against the United Nations General Assembly and New York City in general,” New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban said Thursday at a press briefing outside the UN headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan.

However, a confidential NYPD bulletin distributed this month and obtained by ABC News said there is particular concern over “multiple recent attacks involving firearms and IEDs targeting high-ranking officials around the world “.

The United Nations flag flies during preparations for the 2023 UNGA at the United Nations Headquarters, September 13, 2023, in New York.

See Press/Corbis via Getty Images

The bulletin cited the assassinations of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as assassination attempts in Argentina and Ecuador. In the United States, the bulletin reported on a recent attack on a congressional office in Virginia and last year’s violent assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

NYPD officials acknowledged that rising political violence is a concern, but declined to identify the specific dignitaries they are concerned about during Thursday’s briefing.

151 heads of state are expected to attend, including President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the target of months of protests against changes to Israel’s justice system.

“All aspects” of the NYPD will be involved in securing the event, Caban said, including aviation, port and K9, working with the U.S. Secret Service, Security Service diplomatic branch of the State Department and the UN’s own security arm.

ABC News

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