The New York Police Department said it would tighten security around mosques and Muslim centers in the city during the upcoming Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Police patrols will be beefed up at all existing religious centers and sites of future ones from August 11 to September 9, the department said in a statement, referring to plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero. The department's Hate Crimes Task Force "also will continue regular hate-crime awareness training throughout the city... (and) will visit mosques and sites where future mosques are proposed."
A New York community board in May backed plans for an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamist hijackers crashed two airliners into the Twin Towers, killing almost 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.
Opponents complain that the project is an insult to the memory of the dead, while supporters believe it will transform negative stereotypes about Islam.