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Hochul Steps Up Anti Terror Efforts in Wake of Anti Jewish and Anti Muslim Threats

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New York State Governor Kathy Hochul
Credit: The Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Hochul Steps Up Anti-Terror Efforts in Wake of Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Threats

Governor Kathy Hochul is stepping up anti terrorism efforts in New York, in response to a rise in hate crimes and growing incidences of harassment, following the on going violence in Israel and Gaza.

Hochul says she’s upping staffing to the FBI Joint Terrorism task force and will allocate $2.5 million dollars to the State police to add 10 more investigators to New York City, Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. Hochul says the actions come after investigations of bias related incidents increased by 124 percent in October, with an over 200 percent spike in anti- Jewish incidents.

“We have determined that the rising level of hate and antisemitism in particular, poses a clear and present danger to the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “As governor, am doing everything in my power to fight back.”

Hochul says she’s trying to avoid major transit disruptions during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, after pro-Palestinian protesters briefly shut down Grand Central Station on Friday.  She’s also deployed the state police to  synagogues and yeshivas, and mosques, and other places that could be susceptible to hate crimes or violence.

The governor spoke after a meeting with the state’s top anti-terrorism experts. State Police Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Crowe says officers are investigating a number of  cases.

“I can't talk about particular individual investigations,” said Crowe. “But I can tell you the number has increased exponentially since October 7, of the number of investigations were involved in as an entity of the state police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

State police arrested and charged a Cornell University student who made violent threats against Jewish students on campus.   

Crowe says law enforcement is also using special software to monitor social media sites, and to try to counter hate speech there, and flag potentially violent threats.

Hochul, who  says she hasn’t seen so many incidences of hate related threats and crimes since after 9/11, says the state has already set up a hotline to report bias related incidents. (Call 844-NO-2-HATE or Use an Online Form to Report Incidents). She urges New Yorkers to use it.

“Here in New York City, we've had a huge spike in anti-semitic incidences. I know that they're underreported, hate crimes against Muslims are also being underreported,” the governor said. “We need the public to step forward. If you've been violated, you've been harassed- physically, verbally- you have to let us know. So we can step up and protect you.”

Hochul is also meeting with Jewish and Muslim leaders. She spoke at the American Jewish Committee Board of Governors meeting on Sunday night.