NYC ramps up security in wake of San Bernardino mass shooting

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The news headlines are all over Times Square, exploring the links of Wednesday’s San Bernardino shooting to terrorism.

Security remains stepped up around New York City as the Police Department’s elite Counter Terrorism Unit stand guard as hundreds of holiday shoppers and tourists gather in Times Square, including Filipinos.

“You cannot help being scared about it, so we just have to be basically careful,” said April Cabillon of Brooklyn.

Investigators now believe female shooter Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS and the male shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook, has been radicalized and had been in touch with more than one terror suspect.

Some tabloids like the New York Post have labeled the shooters as Muslim killers, but some people are taking a more sober view.

“We cannot truly identify naman eh kung sino talaga yung masasama,” said Adeline Roa of Old Bridge, N.J. “Marami ring mababait na mga Muslim.”

Meanwhile, as President Obama calls for tougher gun control laws, White House officials are also looking into ways to use executive authority to close the gun show loophole, which allows thousands of people to purchase guns without background checks.

“The President feels as strongly as ever that Congressional action is needed to make America safer,” said Josh Earnest, White House press secretary.

The Philippine Consul General in New York has this message for kababayans in the wake of the heightened security and terror threat warnings in the Big Apple.

“That’s part of living in New York, so they always have to be vigilant,” said Mario de Leon, Philippine Consulate General in New York. “At the same time they should also not be afraid, I think that’s very important.”

These mass shooting and terror threats are a cause for concern, but many New Yorkers believe that life must go on in the Big Apple especially during the holidays.

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