The son of a New York mob superior has warned the Islamic State (Isis) they have to contend with the Sicilian mafia should they plan any attack in New York, saying they want to contribute from their side to protect the locals of the US.

Giovanni Gambino, son of an important figure in the Gambino organisation, has reportedly said the Italy-based mafia, also known as "Cosa Nostra", can provide better protection to New Yorkers than US security agencies like Homeland Security or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

"They often act too late, or fail to see a complete picture of what's happening due to a lack of 'human intelligence'," said Gambino.

He claimed the crime syndicate, which has spread to Canada and Australia as well, bears knowledge of individual movements and interaction with locals and that provides them the upper hand, even against the newest surveillance technologies.

Gambino, who is trying his hand at Hollywood screenwriting, said protection has become all the more significant after the 13 November Paris attacks.

He said the world is dangerous these days, but New Yorkers living with "Sicilian connections should feel safe".

"We make sure our friends and families are protected from extremists and terrorists, especially the brutal, psychopathic organisation that calls itself the Islamic State," he added.

Gambino said Isis fears the Sicilian mafia, which is the primary reason they haven't ever tried to implant underground cells in Sicily, Italy.

"The mafia has a bad reputation, but much of that's undeserved," he said.

"As with everything in life, there are good, bad and ugly parts — the rise of global terrorism gives the mafia a chance to show its good side," quoted him as saying.