Archive for the ‘New York Police Dept.’ category

NYPD: Fighting Terrorism on Three Sides

December 14, 2017

NYPD: Fighting Terrorism on Three Sides, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Patrick Dunleavy, December 14, 2017

Immediately following the truck rampage by Saipov, who admitted to police that he was a member of ISIS, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed with the statement Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller made to the press that this attack “isn’t about Islam” or about “what mosque he attends.” This is the same mayor who gutted a major part of the city’s counter terrorism surveillance initiative created by the NYPD’s Intelligence Division in 2006, and its report titled, “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” The report was an eye opening tutorial on how and where Islamic radicalization takes place. The mayor called that program “broken.”

If that were not enough, the New York City Council is considering a bill that would force the police department to disclose in public reports the specific tactics and resources it uses when investigating terrorism. The bill would also limit when the police could enter a suspect’s residence or stop and question a person.

Facing the terrorist threat head-on in New York City is not something that the NYPD shrinks back from. On the contrary, the men and women whose remarkable service has kept us safe welcome the fight. But it sure would be a lot easier if they didn’t have to constantly look over their shoulders to defend against attacks by politically correct politicians and the activist groups who never get the facts straight.

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As if the New York Police Department’s task in keeping the city safe from ISIS-inspired terrorists wasn’t arduous enough, it now is faced with other adversarial forces that often hinder effective counter terrorism measures.

In recent weeks two terror attacks targeted the city that were committed by self-acknowledged soldiers of ISIS, the radical Islamic group which recently saw the decimation of its caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The first attack occurred when Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national, drove a rented truck into a crowd of pedestrians near Ground Zero on Halloween. Eight people were killed, another 12 wounded, making it the deadliest attack on the city since 9/11. The second terrorist attack came at the height of the rush hour Monday morning, when Bangladeshi immigrant Akayed Ullahdetonated a pipe bomb strapped to his chest in a crowded subway tunnel underneath the Port Authority.

The response by the NYPD, the FDNY, and the Port Authority Police was nothing short of outstanding. They quickly took control of both areas under attack and apprehended the terrorists. Saipov was shot by an NYPD officer as he yelled “Allah Akbar,” brandishing what appeared to be two firearms. And Ullah, instead of waking up to 72 virgins, found himself handcuffed by Port Authority police officers after his bomb malfunctioned and he lay on the ground with burns and injuries to his torso.

Immediately following the truck rampage by Saipov, who admitted to police that he was a member of ISIS, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed with the statement Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller made to the press that this attack “isn’t about Islam” or about “what mosque he attends.” This is the same mayor who gutted a major part of the city’s counter terrorism surveillance initiative created by the NYPD’s Intelligence Division in 2006, and its report titled, “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” The report was an eye opening tutorial on how and where Islamic radicalization takes place. The mayor called that program “broken.”

If that were not enough, the New York City Council is considering a bill that would force the police department to disclose in public reports the specific tactics and resources it uses when investigating terrorism. The bill would also limit when the police could enter a suspect’s residence or stop and question a person.

Political correctness handicaps the police, as they are frequently forced to battle against the syndrome caused by politicians who should know better. Americans by and large are not happy when PC replaces common sense, particularly when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks. The New York Post editorial board went so far as to say that the people would no longer tolerate such hindrances on law enforcement: “New Yorkers don’t want a police department that merely arrives at the scene of a tragedy to pick up the pieces. They want attacks like Monday’s prevented.”

The third front challenging law enforcement agencies like the NYPD when fighting terrorism is the negative attacks from activist groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Immediately following Monday’s explosion, NYPD detectives and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force rushed to several apartments in Brooklyn where the suspected bomb maker Akayed Ullah lived. As a normal police procedure, they evacuated the building and began a search, not only for evidence, but also for the possibility of additional improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that Ullah may have constructed.

That evening, while the investigation was still ongoing, CAIR-NY legal director Albert Fox Cahn issued a statement on behalf of the Ullah family complaining about the police department’s action. I guess CAIR thought the police should have left young children in the building where a bomb may have been. This is the same organization that accused the NYPD of spying on Muslims. This is not its first go round (battle) with those who are charged with protecting the United States from terrorists. In fact, in recent years CAIR officials have actually encouraged members of the Muslim community to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement agencies investigating terrorism. They portrayed cops in sinister garbsneaking through the neighborhood as villains not to be trusted.

Facing the terrorist threat head-on in New York City is not something that the NYPD shrinks back from. On the contrary, the men and women whose remarkable service has kept us safe welcome the fight. But it sure would be a lot easier if they didn’t have to constantly look over their shoulders to defend against attacks by politically correct politicians and the activist groups who never get the facts straight.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School

New York Cedes Ground in the Fight Against Terrorism

March 7, 2017

New York Cedes Ground in the Fight Against Terrorism, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Patrick Dunleavy, March 7, 2017

Capitulation in a time of conflict is demoralizing to the rank and file charged with protecting the community they serve. This appears to be the case in the latest legal go round between the New York Police Department (NYPD) and Muslim activist groups.

U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight Jr, is about to accept an agreement that will hand over control of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division investigations to a civilian monitor appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. This is the same mayor who loudly cheered President Obama’s last-minute commutation of FALN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who will be freed in May. De Blasio extolled the works of a man whose organization was responsible for more than 100 bombings, many in New York City, including one that killed four innocent people.

To understand the impact that this proposed settlement, between the NYPD, and the activist organization known as the Muslim Advocates will have on existing counter terrorism measures, we have to understand how vitally important is the issue of protecting cities against attacks by radical Islamist terrorists. The activist groups claim that the police department unfairly singled out Muslim communities in the greater New York/New Jersey area for investigation and surveillance. They also claim that gathering specific information about the neighborhoods amounted to unprecedented “profiling.” They point to a little known NYPD unit that collected the data and accuse it of spying.

Their argument belies the fact that collecting demographic statistics has been used for years by the U.S. Census Bureau to map out trends and changes in neighborhoods. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have used this practice for decades to investigate criminal organizations such as the Mafia, or Columbian drug cartels. The normal investigative process would include forensic examination of the communities most likely to be victimized by criminal organizations. The FBI did not set up surveillance in Chinatown when taking down the Cosa Nostra. They went to Little Italy.

Radical Islamist organizations have in the past infiltrated Muslim neighborhoods in the United States and exerted harmful influence on those communities.

For example, in 1990 a little known Islamic cleric named Omar Abdel Rahman came to live in the greater New York area. He visited mosques in Brooklyn, Queens, Jersey City and elsewhere, and before long forced out any clergy who were not in line with his radical ideology.

In Brooklyn’s Al Farooq mosque on Atlantic Avenue, where Mustafa Shalabi served as a treasurer, an argument occurred over how the money should be spent. Shalabi was found murdered in his Coney Island apartment not long after that fight. Another of the mosque’s clerics, a Sudanese imam named Zakaria Gasmalla, was forced out and moved his entire family to the Buffalo area to escape the pressure from Abdel Rahman and his followers. The Blind Sheik and his followers continued to use Muslim communities to raise money for their plots, to hide weapons, and to build the truck bomb that was placed in the garage of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993. Six people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the resulting explosion.

The first soldiers in the jihad against America lived within the Muslim neighborhoods in the New York/New Jersey community.

In 2000, two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, settled into an apartment in a San Diego neighborhood near the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque. There Anwar al Awlaki, a young Islamic clergyman, welcomed them. Today we know the American-born Awlaki as one of al-Qaida’s most influential preachers and most effective radicalizers and recruiters.

Terrorists will seek out the neighborhoods where they feel most at home, a place where they can use the community to their advantage. Members of the Ribat mosque provided both transportation and language education skills to the two terrorists not knowing their true objective.

Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood has been dubbed “Little Mogadishu” because of it large Somali population. It is a community that has seen more than 50 of its members go overseas to join the Islamist terrorist organization Al Shabaab. Al Shabaab preyed on second generation immigrants who felt a disconnect between American society and their ancestral home. To stem the tide of continued recruitment by radical Islamist terrorists like Al Shabaab, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force successfully focused its investigation on the Muslim community in the greater Minneapolis area.

On the other hand, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) seek to portray law enforcement as sinister characters sneaking through neighborhoods in trench coats looking to do harm to the community. One chapter urged community members to “Build a Wall of Resistance” and not cooperate with investigators in ongoing terrorist investigations. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Thankfully, many members of Minneapolis’ Somali community rejected this approach.

To blindly think that neighborhoods are somehow immune from the nefarious tactics used by either criminal or terrorist organization is to cede ground to those who would do us harm. Police departments exist to protect and serve communities and one of those tools most helpful is knowing the makeup of each neighborhood they patrol. Turning that responsibility over to a terrorist-friendly mayor will only handcuff police with the ambiguity of political correctness and lead to greater harm.