ISIS propaganda video showing New York City aims to sell fear, says NYPD official

/ Source: TODAY

The release of a new ISIS propaganda video on Wednesday that shows New York landmarks in the wake of the Paris attacks follows the group's usual approach to create fear but will not intimidate the city, NYPD official John Miller said Thursday on TODAY.

"Their main bread-and-butter has been recruiting people online,'' Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism, told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. "The videos are part of the cheerleading section of that. That's for one audience. The flipside of that audience is fear is the grist of the terrorist mill and the videos are meant to inspire that. So one part is for potential recruits, the other part is for us, but we operate under a fairly high state of alert normally (in New York City)."

The nearly-five-minute video appears less slickly packaged than the usual ISIS propaganda videos and cobbled together in the wake of the Paris attacks. Miller believes the constant threat New York faces, which has included the NYPD foiling three potential ISIS plots in the just over the past year, makes them as prepared as any city in the world.

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"One thing that ISIS understands almost better than terrorism is marketing,'' Miller said. "What you saw last night was a commercial. It was meant to sell a product. The product is fear. Could it happen here? Of course it could, but that's because it could happen anywhere. Are we better prepared here than most if not all other places? The answer to that is yes."

Just like the video, Miller said the latest edition of ISIS' propaganda magazine, Dabiq, was hastily put together for a release on Wednesday in the wake of the attack. The magazine shows bomb-making materials that ISIS claims were used to make an explosive that brought down a commercial Russian jet.

"They wanted to take credit for as much as possible,'' Miller said. "Our bomb squad, as well as the FBI's bomb techs, are looking at that diagram saying what they have here couldn't have done what they said."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.