"U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places." - U.S. State Department alert, issued today. Here is coverage in the New York Post.
Daily, millions of commuters pass through Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Thousands of tourists arrange to meet their contacts by the iconic clock there. Now, none of that will be conducted with ease. Or maybe not at all. Currently, heavily armed police stand patrol.
Who will take the first economic hit are the vendors in Grand Central. Sure their diet sodas, wraps, and baked goods are over-priced. But snacking in the station or even having a quick lunch at one of the tables is part of the experience of being in Manhattan.
The odds are commuters will arrive just-in-time for their trains, not lingering in the station. Tourists might pass up the chance to take selfies by the Information booth.
Of course, that probable fall-off in business will be replicated at all transportation hubs, including airports. In addition, as happened in Paris, entertainment centers and dining areas could be considered targets. Folks just won't go there. Good-bye the revenues which were supposed to be rung up in this holiday season.
The terrorists have planned the timing perfectly. Westernized nations could slip and slide into a recession.