NEW YORK – A celebration marking the 119th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge has been canceled because of the recent warnings of a potential attack against the city landmark.
"We could not even contemplate finalizing our plans . . . because of the concerns that have been raised," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, whose office had been planning the June 2 event.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Markowitz had not been urged by law enforcement authorities to cancel the plans.
"That's a decision we did not recommend one way or the other," Kelly said Wednesday. "He made that decision on his own."
The celebration was to feature fireworks, the opening of a tourism kiosk and a birthday cake.
Meanwhile, Fleet Week, an annual maritime celebration expected to draw 6,000 naval personnel to the city, was to go on as planned during the Memorial Day weekend.
Kelly said Wednesday that the detainee who gave FBI officials the uncorroborated information of potential terrorist attacks against both the bridge and the Statue of Liberty has provided authorities with credible information in the past.
"We think this detainee has some credibility," he told police reporters.
He would not discuss what credible information the detainee gave in the past, but he said the information the FBI passed on to the New York Police Department on Monday evening regarding the bridge and statue was "recently given" but not specific to any time or date of occurrence.
Kelly also said it was his impression that the FBI was to publicly issue a warning regarding the detainee's statement Tuesday morning, "but for whatever reason it did not happen."
"It wasn't made public. I don't know why, but I do know they confirmed it later in the day," he added.
Kelly announced Tuesday that a "general threat" had been made against the city.
A spokesman for the FBI's New York office, Joe Valiquette, said the FBI never planned to issue a warning Tuesday morning.
"Maybe there was some confusion," he said. "There was never any intention to issue a warning on the part of the FBI."
In spite of the detainee's statement, which is still uncorroborated, the city remained on the same heightened alert status on which it has been since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Kelly said.