Transit Police boosted uniformed patrols and deployment of bomb-sniffing dogs across the sprawling MBTA system Monday following terror bombings in New Jersey and New York.
Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan stressed the increase in visible patrols was undertaken even though there is no known connection between the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the attacks, and the suspect in the bombings, Ahmad Khan Rahami.
“We have been in contact with the FBI, the Boston police, Massachusetts State Police, and the Department of Homeland Security,’’ said Sullivan, who said police also took steps not visible to the public. “There is no connection, no known nexus with these attacks and the MBTA. . . . The [boost in patrols] is meant to assure the riding public that they are safe. . . . Our number one priority is their safety.’’
Separately, State Police spokesman David Procopio wrote in an e-mail that the Commonwealth Fusion Center had checked into the background of the 28-year-old Rahami.
“To this point, no nexus between [Rahami] and the state of Massachusetts has been found,’’ Procopio wrote, adding that the review included checking databases and social media. “That statement is qualified by the fact that it is accurate as of this time; further investigation by the [Commonwealth Fusion Center] will be conducted if new intelligence about [Rahami] is developed.’’
He said security would be increased Thursday night at Gillette Stadium when the New England Patriots play the Houston Texans. State Police will also increase patrols around public transit stations and regional transportation centers, Procopio said.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said his department has been in close contact with federal and local partners regarding the bombings in New York and New Jersey.
“At this time, there is no connection to Boston, but we are telling officers to pay attention to travel hubs in and around the city, and we have distributed the suspect’s picture to our officers,” Evans said in a statement issued before reports of Rahami’s arrest. “We have stepped up patrols in transportation areas.”
Sullivan, the Transit Police official, noted that he was assigned to the Boston FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for some 11 years, starting in 2002. He urged the traveling public to maintain regular schedules in the wake of the recent terror attacks.
“Terrorism derives its powers from fear,’’ Sullivan said. “We are asking the public to go about their daily lives and not succumb to that fear. They should know, as they are doing that, we are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assure their safety.’’