A training drill didn’t end well for the fake terrorists in lower Manhattan on Sunday. But it came at a cost of nearly three dozen people playing innocent bystanders.
Those 30 “died,” and another dozen suffered simulated serious injuries.
Still, the staged strike was deemed a success by top city officials in the wake of the Paris and Mali terrorist attacks.
Police, firefighters and other first responders took part in two exercises, including one involving a shooter wearing a suicide vest.
“We did very well, I think, this morning,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “There were casualties, but the idea is to get in and minimize to the greatest degree possible the casualties.”
Among the “dead” were the make-believe terrorists.
“They didn’t have a good day,” Chief James Waters said of the would-be killers who faced the NYPD counterterrorism unit, recounting how the simulated subway shooters met their ends in both “attacks.”
During the drill, officers used sound monitors and GoPro-like cameras attached to their uniforms to send feeds to other first responders. Several actors covered in fake blood were dragged out of the station onto the street in yellow sleds by the FDNY.
“This was an impressive display of the capacity of this city to respond to an incident,” Mayor de Blasio said. “This is why this city is so fundamentally prepared for any situation.”
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also observed the dress rehearsals, which had been planned for more than a year.
Johnson said that while Homeland Security doesn’t know of any “specific credible threat of a Paris-like attack against the U.S. homeland … we are and we continue to be and we have been concerned about copycat-like attacks.”
But Johnson said Americans should not worry as the holiday season approaches.
“We encourage Americans as the holiday season approaches to continue to travel, to associate, to go to public events, to go to public places,” Johnson said. “Terrorism cannot prevail if the people refuse to be terrorized.”