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Police Around World Ramp Up New Year’s Eve Security

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Chris Dolmetsch
Thursday, Dec 31st, 2009

New York is banning backpacks in Times Square, Bangkok is tightening security and Sydney is cracking down on public drinking as police around the world gear up for millions of New Year’s Eve revelers.

The cities said the extra police presence was in the works even before the arrest this week of a 23-year-old Nigerian for trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet. An al-Qaeda group took responsibility for the attempt and threatened more attacks.

“We always assume the worst,” New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters this week. The Dec. 25 Northwest incident “doesn’t cause us necessarily to re-evaluate specifically, but we always think that we’re up against an intelligent, cunning foe here.”

New York City is putting up barriers and deploying uniformed and undercover officers as hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Times Square to watch the New Year’s Eve Ball drop. The city is searching garages for bombs and setting up detectors for radiation and biological agents.

Part of Times Square was closed off for two hours yesterday because of a suspicious parked van, the Associated Press reported. No explosives were found.

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This article was posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 4:40 am

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