Counterterrorism Initiatives

The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau (CTB) is the city's primary local resource to guard against the threat of international and domestic terrorism in New York City.

The CT Bureau reviews possible terrorist targets and develops innovative, forward-thinking policies and procedures to guard against attacks, training first responders and specialized units and developing intelligence capabilities for detecting and preventing terrorist attacks. The bureau coordinates with federal, state, and other law enforcement agencies in intelligence gathering and sharing, and plays an integral role in the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force.

Counterterrorism Division ( CTD) has wide-ranging responsibilities, overseeing:

  • NYPD Shield manages the Department's public-private security partnership, providing information to the private sector and addressing concerns from the private sector
  • The Video Production Unit uses video and other technology for various counterterrorism projects
  • The Training Section develops and delivers counterterrorism training to the patrol force and to other law enforcement agencies and private sector entities;
  • The Threat Reduction Infrastructure Protection Section (TRIPS) identifies critical infrastructure sites throughout the city and develops protective strategies for these sites;
  • The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Section researches and tests emerging technologies used to detect and combat chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapons, and develops plans and policies for their use
  • The Maritime Team develops systems and programs to increase harbor security. The Maritime Team uses the Tactical Radiological Acquisition Characterization System (TRACS) for pro-active deployments and mapping of background radiation in the Port of New York/New Jersey. This is the only waterborne deployment of TRACS equipment in the nation;
  • Cobra Unit develops and delivers hazmat operations level training regarding CBRNE threats
  • Physical Security Section assesses the needs for large scale citywide events and deploys those necessary assets
  • Special Projects is our partner project with federal and DOD agencies regarding the detection, mitigation, and response regarding Unmanned Ariel Systems
  • Interagency Intelligence Section consists of liaisons to over 20 agencies. They examine and analyze information and intelligence from a multitude of classified and open source resources

Bomb Squad is charged with the investigation and mitigation of suspicious packages, devices, and articles found throughout the city. They are responsible for rendering safe, dismantling, transporting, and disposing of bombs, explosives, incendiary devices, and dangerous chemicals. They work in conjunction with the Crime Scene Unit to search for, identify, collect, and forward explosive related forensic evidence in support of investigations. Members are equipped with a variety of specialized tools, including the Total Containment Vessel (TCV). The TCV is able to contain both the force and the fragmentation of an explosive device. The suspected devices can then be safely transported to the NYPD's training and demolition range at Rodman's Neck in the Bronx. Robots are also used to remotely observe, manipulate, and move suspected devices.

Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) is a multi-law enforcement agency that includes NYPD detectives and FBI special agents who investigate terrorism in the New York City metropolitan area and around the world. Following the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD substantially increased the number of detectives assigned to the JTTF. This partnership with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies provides the NYPD with access to national level classified intelligence and the ability to analyze and share its own intelligence on the federal level.

Domain Awareness System (DAS) is a powerful counterterrorism and policing tool jointly developed and built by the NYPD and Microsoft. As a central platform, DAS is used to aggregate data from internal and external closed-circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and environmental sensors, as well as 911 calls and other NYPD databases. DAS uses an interactive dashboard interface to display real-time alerts whenever a 911 call is received or a sensor is triggered.

Lower Manhattan Security Initiative (LMSI) is designed to detect threats and perform pre-operational terrorist surveillance south of Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. LMSI combines an increased police presence with technology to accomplish its mission.

Terrorism Threat Analysis Group performs strategic intelligence analysis and disseminates this information, both open-source and classified, to the appropriate recipients in the Department, the private sector, the U.S. intelligence community, and other law enforcement agencies.

Critical Response Command (CRC) is one of the Department's first lines of defense against a terrorist-related attack. A permanent cadre of hand-selected police officers devoted to counterterrorism, CRC members are trained to respond swiftly, with sufficient expertise and force, to the most highly organized and heavily armed attacks. All CRC team members are trained in special weapons and long-range guns, explosive trace detection, radiological and nuclear awareness, biological and chemical weapons awareness, and are equipped with the skills to detect an impending attack and utilize the best possible response to an emerging situation. The team conducts daily counterterrorism deployments to critical infrastructure sites throughout New York City, saturating strategic locations with a uniform presence to disrupt and deter terrorist planning and hostile surveillance operations.

World Trade Center Command is responsible for the policing and security in the World Trade Center area.

Operation Nexus: The New York City Police Department’s Operation Nexus is a nationwide network of businesses and enterprises joined in an effort to prevent another terrorist attack against our citizens. Our detectives have conducted over 25,000 visits to firms that have joined us in this mutual effort. Members of Operation Nexus are committed to reporting suspicious business encounters that they believe may have possible links to terrorism.

The NYPD believes terrorists may portray themselves as legitimate customers in order to purchase or lease certain materials or equipment, or to undergo certain formalized training to acquire important skills or licenses. There is also a concern that these individuals may simply steal certain types of vehicles, equipment or materials from the inventory of legitimate businesses. Whatever the method, once appropriated these items could then be used to facilitate a terrorist plot.

Through Operation Nexus, the NYPD actively encourages business owners, operators and their employees to apply their particular business and industry knowledge and experience against each customer transaction or encounter to discern anything unusual or suspicious and to report such instances to authorities.

If you agree to join the Operation Nexus network, one of our detectives will explain why certain types of businesses may be attractive to a terrorist operative and provide a list of indicators – specifically tailored to that business -- to use as a reference. Once visited, these businesses receive a framed certificate and become participants in the NYPD “Operation Nexus Network” to serve as a first alert mechanism to help protect New York City against the threat of another terror attack. It is important to note that participation in this network is not limited to New York City businesses.

Terrorist attacks do not occur in a vacuum. They require planning and preparation, such as the acquisition of certain materials or training in targeted activities. Terrorist operatives will try to obtain these in the private sector, from businesses both inside and outside of New York City’s geographic boundaries. Moreover, their approach to a business will vary, from entering a store and standing directly in front of a customer-service counter to making an electronic purchase over the Internet at a company’s website. Call 1-888-NYC-SAFE or Email NYCSAFE@NYPD.ORG