UN General Assembly to take place amid uptick of political violence

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(NEW YORK) — While New York City police insist there are no credible threats to this year’s United Nations General Assembly, law enforcement officials are concerned the annual gathering of world leaders next week comes amid an uptick in political violence both at home and abroad.

“There are no credible threats to the UN General Assembly and New York City in general,” NYPD Police Commissioner Edward Caban said Thursday at a briefing outside U.N. headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side.

However, a confidential NYPD bulletin distributed this month and obtained by ABC News said there is particular concern about “multiple recent attacks involving firearms and IEDs targeting high-ranking public officials globally.”

The bulletin cited the assassinations both of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as attempted assassinations in Argentina and Ecuador. In the United States, the bulletin noted a recent attack at a Congressional office in Virginia and last year’s violent assault of Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

NYPD officials conceded the uptick in political violence is a concern but declined to identify specific dignitaries they are worried about at Thursday’s briefing.

151 heads of state are scheduled to attend, among them President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the target of months of protests over changes to the Israeli judiciary.

“Every aspect” of the NYPD will be involved in securing the event,” Caban said, including aviation, harbor and K9, working with the U.S. Secret Service, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the U.N.’s own security arm.

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