N.Y. mayor could authorize air strike on crop dusting plane attack

According to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who spoke during a City Council hearing on Thursday, Mayor Mike Bloomberg can authorize an air strike if a large jet manned by terrorists ever threatened the city.
The New York Police Department's helicopters have the ability to shoot down a small plane like a crop duster that could be used in a bioterror attack, but it doesn't have the firepower to take out a jetliner, Kelly said, according to the New York Daily News.

In addition, Kelly said that the NYPD would work with the federal government if a large jet threatened the city.

"The mayor makes the final decision," Kelly said, the New York Daily News reports. "We would want to have federal authorities send resources here as soon as possible."

In non-jet situations, Kelly said that defenselessness is no option at all.

"What we didn't want to be is totally helpless, at two o'clock in the morning, [with] a small plane disseminating anthrax over Manhattan and waiting for somebody to come from an Air Force base in Massachusetts," Kelly said, according to New York Daily News.

When questioned by Councilman David Greenfield, Kelly said that the mayor is "notified immediately" whenever police learn that the city is facing a terrorist threat, the New York Daily News reports.