WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — A 37-year-old New Jersey man was arrested after he entered St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, the New York Police Department said.
The unidentified man was stopped Wednesday by security when he went inside the church at about 8 p.m., said John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, during a news conference. Miller added that the man is “known to police.”
“His basic story was he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue, that his car had run out of gas,” Miller said. “We took a look at the vehicle. It was not out of gas.”
Miller said it was too soon to know if it was an intended act of terrorism.
The incident comes days after flames ravaged the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
There will be increased police control at New York City churches Thursday, Councilman Justin Brannan tweeted.
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