Bratton Underscores Problem of Radicalized Teens


Police commissioner Bill Bratton on Thursday said teens become radicalized by Islamic State recruiters via social media, and urged parents to watch for changes in behavior that might indicate the danger.

In a panel discussion at the Manhattan Institute to address quality of life policing in New York City, Bratton was bombarded mostly with questions concerning the Syrian refugees who might live here and the city’s terrorism preparedness.

Noting that terrorist threats were nothing new here, Bratton added, “New York City has the most robust counter-terrorism unit.”

Still he stressed that parents, teachers, coaches and counselors should watch for focus and lifestyle changes in teens and that parents should monitor the social media sites that they visit. He also said that once radicalization happened it was impossible to reverse.

As for the rest of the community, the commissioner quoted what has been the city’s slogan for years now: “If you see something, say something.”

Concerning Syrian refugees, Bratton conceded that the police department could not guarantee that every single one was not a threat.

“It just doesn’t work like that,” he said, emphasizing that there were potential risks from all quarters, not just refugees.

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