Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told Fox News Digital that the incident should serve as a warning about New York City’s vulnerability to potential threats just days after the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. Authorities are still looking for the person or people responsible for shattering the windows on dozens of tube trains in a single night, which effectively temporarily shut down service.
Vandals broke 97 windows on 45 trains along the N, W, Q, B, D, and F lines overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday, causing closures and service interruptions for hundreds of thousands of morning commuters. At a news conference, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimated that the underground system had sustained losses of $500,000 and vowed that these “criminals,” who are known to have been photographed, would be tracked down and dealt with “to the fullest extent of the law.”
Officials denied that there was a link to terrorism, but Sliwa told Fox News Digital that Mayor Eric Adams of New York City should take this as a warning about potential infrastructure threats, given that the city is also currently dealing with an influx of 113,000 allegedly unvetted migrants from the border.
“These are warning signs. We had them in the aftermath of the attack of ‘93 when they tried to topple the World Trade Center,” Sliwa said Wednesday, two days after the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. “But then Osama bin Laden from that cave in Afghanistan was warning us, we’re coming for you. We ignored that. Well, these are warning signs. And now we have a porous border in which they can readily come over without detection. And we have elected officials who refuse to work with ICE.”
Sliwa brought up the April 2022 subway shooting involving Frank James, who has since been found guilty. According to the prosecution, James pretended to be an MTA employee before detonating a smoke bomb inside a New York City subway car in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and then shot more than 30 times, striking 10 passengers.
James admitted guilt to federal terrorism charges in January after eluding capture for over 30 hours before being apprehended in Manhattan.
“He basically escaped and walked around the city for 24 hours before citizens turned him in,” Sliwa said. “The subway system is extraordinarily vulnerable to all kinds of attacks.”
“If you had a political goal, you were someone who wanted to hurt America. The subways are the best place to do it since you could get away with it almost unnoticed, according to Sliwa, who also noted that there are no cameras in the subway carriages, there is little security in the tunnels, and police rarely patrol the moving or stationary trains.
“Bad people who vandalize know that. So it’s they’ve taken advantage of a tremendous void of police officers not being there. And they’re going to do it more and more because they don’t have cameras in the subway cars,” Sliwa said. “Pretty much the only way you would be held over for any kind of street crime or subway crime is you pretty much have to almost kill somebody. So this is considered property damage. The way the DAs now apply the law property is of no consequence. You see that with shoplifting, boosting, graffiti, vandalizing, elevators get vandalized all the time, which the handicapped people need desperately to go in and out of the subways. So nothing ever happens when people are caught.”
Sliwa, a previous Republican mayoral candidate who lost to Adams, questioned if the FBI’s 1,000-person New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which mostly consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD, is still adequately staffed and focused on thwarting threats.
As a result of the defund the police movement’s aftermath, the NYPD as a whole had manpower shortages.
“He likes to attack TikTok, he likes to play with toys like drones,” Sliwa said of Adams. “None of that will impact, especially subway crime, subway vandalism or, God forbid, subway terrorism. Trained professional uniformed police officers is what does that. And we don’t have enough of that. And we’re losing men and women rapidly to normal retirement, early retirement.”
Sliwa and even Adams have remarked that more migrants are coming from sub-Saharan African nations this year than they did previous, when they mostly came from Venezuela.
“And the mayor is threatening to eliminate all police overtime because of the migrant situation,” Sliwa said. “This will open up enormous opportunities for those who wish to do harm to citizens, to property, and most importantly, if they have a terrorist agenda. I mean, I’ve seen massive numbers of people from Mauritania in here as part of the illegals coming in.”
“How is it that people coming in from Mauritania where they have active ISIS and al-Qaeda cells, and they’re walking all over the city?” Sliwa said.
The NYPD is prohibited from working with ICE on civil detainer requests due to New York City’s sanctuary status, but the head of the NYPD’s intelligence and counterterrorism division testified earlier this week at a House subcommittee field hearing at the 9/11 Museum that the department cooperates “extensively” with ICE and CBP in terms of criminal enforcement.
“ICE was created in the aftermath of the attack of 9/11. I’ll never forget the day that was rolled out by Homeland Security,” Sliwa said, speaking to the agency’s responsibility to help vet illegal immigrants. “How is that at all possible when sanctuary cities and sanctuary states won’t allow law enforcement or the courts to deal with ICE?”