UN ignoring terror threats, says New York City

The issue has once again come to the fore as the UN plans to host scores of world leaders at its annual General Assembly this month -- and a special summit called by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Sep 20, FoxNews.com reported.

Top city officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly, feel frustrated that after years of negotiations and a $1.8 billion UN facelift that is now under way, the UN is ignoring blunt and dire warnings about the risks faced at the 17-acre complex on Manhattan's East Side.

"The city is not satisfied with the UN's response to date," declared mayoral spokesman Jason Post. "The UN has not adopted the city's security recommendations for the headquarters campus." Post would not elaborate and declined to answer follow-up questions.

The city's concerns are major. In some places at the periphery of the UN complex, little more than a wheel-barrow full of high explosives could have a disastrous effect.

In others, a truck-bomber could drive within a few yards of the complex before setting off a blast that could be as devastating as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Those concerns have special resonance in New York City shortly after the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and while memories are still fresh of the unsuccessful May attempt by Muslim extremist Faisel Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square on behalf of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban.

Despite years of planning for the UN renovation -- and a more than trebling of the original $570 million projected cost -- the city strongly feels that neither the UN nor the State Department, which manages American host country obligations with the world organisation, have committed themselves to anywhere near enough protection for the high-profile international target.

In past months, city officials have expressed the same frustrations in increasingly blunt terms to US and UN officials, both in written communications and in face to face meetings. Among other things, Bloomberg has written personally to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the issues.

"This is a collective effort of all three parties," US Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy told Fox News in an interview. "I believe we are all working together to develop a process that will integrate security into the renovations of the United Nations complex that will be satisfactory to everyone."

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