Proliferation of weapons a cause of concern: NY police chief

Citing the Mumbai attacks, the police chief of New York expressed concern over proliferation of guns and other weapons in the United States.

Updated: Apr 22, 2013, 00:16 AM IST

Washington: Citing the Mumbai attacks, where the terrorists used very simple weapons, and the Boston bombings, where the perpetrators used easy-to-make bombs, the police chief of New York on Sunday expressed concern over proliferation of guns and other weapons in the United States.

"Yes, absolutely," New York police chief Raymond Kelly, told Fareed Zakaria`s GPS programme on CNN when asked if easy accessibility of guns and other instruments of destruction is something that worries him.

"You know, we`re concerned. We sent a team to Mumbai and we got very granular information very quickly. And that`s what we do with officers that we have assigned throughout the world, go to the scenes of terrorist events, bring back information to help us better protect the city," Kelly said.

"But if you look at the events in Mumbai, they were done with very, very simple weapons. And clearly, we know, in this country, the proliferation of weapons. We have about 300 million guns in our country. So, yes, it`s -- a concern," he said.

"If you look at the bombs that were used in Boston, very simple to make. Inspire magazine, as you know, put out in 2010 -- that information is all over the Internet, its very easy to find out how to build a pretty effective bomb. So the proliferation of weapons, handguns, rifles and certainly bomb-making materials, made out of ordinary even household items is very much a concern for us," Kelly said.

Noting that he hasn`t seen an increase in threats for New York City, Kelly said the operating assumption is that the Big Apple is always at risk.

"We`re a city that obviously had two horrific attacks here: 1993, 2001. We have had 16 plots against the city since then. So we are on alert all the time. We`d see no -- there`s no recourse, but to be on alert," he said.

New York City has the biggest police force in the US.

"We have 35,000 uniformed officers. We`re able to mass officers in significant numbers if we had to. So sure, we do variations of things much more almost on a daily basis in the city of this size, 8.4 million people. So I mean if something like this happened in New York, god forbid, we would have our own resources, I think, that would enable us to do a comprehensive search," he said.