LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

Christie Gives Briefing on NJ Security After Brussels Terror Attack

High alert in the face of another ghastly terror attack. This time in Brussels in a metro station near the European Union headquarters and at the airport where the departure area became a death trap. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombings that took the lives of at least 30 people and left hundreds injured. Airport security cameras caught images of three men police consider suspects. Two pushing carts, each missing a glove, are thought to be the suicide bombers. And there’s another one in a white hat who has evaded capture. Investigators report finding un-exploded nail bombs at other sites. The horror triggered extra vigilance in our region, maimed by the worst terror attack of all. Gov. Chris Christie was briefed early and urged calm.

Christie: First off, I want to advise the people of this state we have no intelligence to suggest a threat to New Jersey or any place in our region at the current time. New information continues to come in and our understanding of the attacks and their methods and motivations could change over the next several hours or days. But as we sit here today, we have no intelligence that suggests there are any threats to our region. You’re right, David, I was the one that started back in 2002 I believe calling those two miles the most dangerous two miles in America when I was U.S. attorney. I’m well aware of it. I’ve had two briefings already this morning by my director of Homeland Security, Dr. Chris Rodriguez. Dr. Rodriguez is in regular contact with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces in both Newark, N.J. and Philadelphia that covers our entire state. And so we feel very confident that we’re getting the most actionable intelligence at the moment that we can from those two organizations. The public in New Jersey should be ready, though, to see over the next number of days larger numbers of security personnel patrolling our transportation hubs. We think that’s a prudent and appropriate step to take. The Port Authority and New Jersey Transit have increased security at the major train stations, at Newark Airport, all the heavy and light rail stations across state. Customs and Border Patrol agents at Newark Airport will also deploy additional agents for increased security. Bomb detection canine and special operation units have been deployed overnight when we first were advised of the attack in Brussels shortly after 3 a.m. Eastern Time here in the U.S. We’ve been in contact with Amtrak. They have increased their canine emergency service units on all trains on the Northeast Corridor. Our military bases and our key critical infrastructure installations are on heightened alert. And we continue to cooperate closely with New York on terrorism issues. The MOU [memorandum of understanding] that Gov. Cuomo and I signed in October of 2014 has resulted in closer collaboration and greater intelligence sharing with New York than ever before. Our tactical responses on both sides of the river have been seamless and well coordinated and I’ve been in touch with Gov. Cuomo as well. Finally, we’re in constant contact with the U.S. intelligence community — Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on any threats that may impact us here in New Jersey. Unfortunately, these are the kind of attacks that we’re going to continue to see. ISIS has taken responsibility for this attack this morning. And we have to be expecting that these type of attacks will happen against free countries around the world. And so, as I’ve said many times before, for those that want to deny that we’re in a war, I want them to look at the video they see from Brussels this morning. It is a different war, it’s an unconventional war, but it is a war. And any of us who think differently I think are sadly mistaken and I’d add my prayers to the prayers of many for the 34 families at least at this point who lost loved ones in Brussels and the over 170 that are injured.