“Terror” by Scare Quote

Ten invented or scare quotes. That’s what the NY Post employs in an effort to discredit the AP’s latest report on the CIA-on-the-Hudson, this time describing surveillance of Muslim college students extending across the Northeast:

“civil rights”


“workplace violence”

“workplace violence”

“civil rights”




“oppressed minority”

“suspect pool”

The concepts of civil rights, racism, oppressed minorities, and suspect pools are bracketed, presumably marking them as facetious or illegitimate concepts.

The Pentagon, currently seeking the death penalty for Nidal Hasan’s attack on Fort Hood, is accused of treating the attack as “workplace violence.”

The 9/11 hijackers, who did in fact enroll in flight schools to learn how to turn passenger jets into missiles, are accused of just posing as “students,” presumably in an effort to suggest that young adult Muslims studying at colleges ranging from Yale to Laguardia Community College who were surveilled by the NYPD must also be posing too.

And it’s not just by using quotation marks that the Post invents its own reality.

It suggests the NYPD has stopped “countless” terrorist attacks, when the number of total attacks in the last decade was fewer than 20, and the two most important–Faisal Shahzad and Najibullah Zazi–the NYPD missed.

Closely watching wannabe jihadis not only at home but across the country and around the world, the NYPD has foiled countless terror operations,

It supports the claim that the targets of surveillance here are wannabe jihadis by suggesting that Mike Bloomberg and Ray Kelly are simply not telling the public the evidence justifying their profiling of innocent Muslims.

The AP story also breathlessly notes that “the latest documents mention no wrongdoing by any students,” even though “Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg repeatedly have said that the police only follow legitimate leads about suspected criminal activity.”

Was the AP born yesterday?

There’s always a gap between what public officials say to the “gotcha” media and what they actually must do — especially when it comes to terrorism. If officials could candidly talk about the daily reports they get about possible lethal jihadist activity, the country would be in a state of permanent panic.

Never mind that the AP has published at least two documents showing reports sent directly to Kelly reviewing surveillance that admits no underlying leads. The Post is willing to assert, presumably having seen less raw data than the AP, that there must be more terrorism there, terrorism worthy of permanent panic if only we knew.

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How Do You Profile J. Edgar Kelly with Almost No Mention of Domestic Spying?

In 1974, the NYT made history with a story that reported,

An extensive investigation by the NYT has established that intelligence files on at least 10000 U.S. citizens were maintained by a special unit of the CIA

In 2005, the NYT again made history by exposing illegal domestic wiretapping.

Yet today’s NYT managed to publish a 2,500-word story depicting Ray Kelly as some sort of J. Edgar Hoover figure with little mention–much less criticism–of the domestic spying Kelly’s NYPD conducts on New Yorkers.

Much of the article vents complaints that Kelly has gotten remote, that he no longer cooks spaghetti for his officers. It buries an on the record quote from the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association saying, “Among the rank-and-file, and even among the brass when I have talked to them, they are dying for a change” in the second-to-last paragraph.

But the five paragraphs addressing the rising number of scandals associated with the NYPD are striking for the way they deal with revelations of the domestic spying operation Kelly now oversees.

After years of undeniable success, Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly is going through turbulent times, confronted with a steady drip of troublesome episodes. They include officers fixing traffic tickets, running guns and disparaging civilians on Facebook, and accusations that the Police Department encourages officers to question minorities on the streets indiscriminately. His younger son has been accused of rape, though he has not been charged and maintains his innocence. On Thursday, in an episode that Mr. Kelly said concerned him, an officer killed an 18-year-old drug suspect who was unarmed.


He has built a counterterrorism machine with tentacles in 11 foreign cities, irritating federal agencies. There has been no successful terrorist attack on his city while he has been commissioner. He has instead been engulfed in the past year largely by familiar police corruption story lines, of human beings succumbing to greed or audacity.

Over the past year, two officers charged with raping a woman were fired after being acquitted of rape but found guilty of official misconduct. A broad ticket-fixing scandal flared in the Bronx; when the accused officers were arraigned, hundreds of officers massed in protest, some denouncing Mr. Kelly. Eight current and former officers were charged with smuggling illegal guns. Narcotics detectives were accused of planting drugs on innocent civilians. An inspector needlessly pepper-sprayed four Occupy Wall Street protesters, invoking memories of the scrutiny and mass arrests of protesters during the 2004 Republican National Convention, and giving the nascent movement its first real prime-time moment.

Civil rights advocates have assailed the department’s expanded stops of minorities on the streets. Several officers denigrated West Indians on Facebook. Muslims have denounced the monitoring of their lives, as Mr. Kelly has dispatched undercover officers and informants to find radicalized youth.

This year began with the revelation that a film offensive to Muslims, which included an interview with Mr. Kelly, had been shown to many officers.

The foreign intelligence “irritates federal agencies.” “Muslims have denounced” domestic spying. An inaccurate and counterproductive film is “offensive to Muslims.” The NYT seems anxious to dissociate itself from any criticism of the domestic spying, as if it’s something only the targets should worry about, as if incorporating Islamophobia into police training has no negative effects.

Worse, the juxtaposition of the irritated federal agencies with the proclamation that there has been no successful attack seems to be an attempt to justify the domestic spying. Never mind that the two most serious attempted attacks–by Faisal Shahzad and Najibullah Zazi–were not discovered by Kelly’s domestic spying. Never mind that the investigation into Zazi’s plot was significantly harmed when the NYPD tipped Zazi off to it through his imam, whom the NYPD believed to be a reliable informant.

With the transition, “[h]e has instead been engulfed … by familiar police corruption story lines, of human beings succumbing to greed or audacity,” the article logically distinguishes the domestic spying from the other things, the real scandals, according to the NYT.

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The NYPD Profiles Everyone’s Favorite Terrorist Group, MEK

As I noted yesterday, the latest installment of Goldman and Apuzzo’s exposure of the CIA-on-the-Hudson relies on a 2006 document laying out plans to profile Iranians and Shiites (and Palestinians) in anticipation of heightened US-Iranian conflict.

New York City has always been a prime target for terrorist groups and as the possibility of military action taken against Iran grows stronger, so does the danger of the City being attacked by agents of the Iranian government or its sympathizers.

Based on that premise, they lay out a bunch of groups to profile.

Among those, however, is the MEK, the Iranian opposition group designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Here’s what the document has to say about them:

Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK), designated by the US Department of State as a terrorist group, has presence in NYC. MEK is strongly opposed to the current Iranian administration and it is not believe [sic] not to pose a threat of retaliation should the US engage Iran military. The group’s actions here are typified by several incidents where suspected MEK members disrupted speeches and protested against Iranian officials visiting and/or present in US.

Now, at one level, the MEK actually is a designated terrorist organization, regardless of how sensible that designation remains. So it makes sense to see them profiled by the NYPD. Though it is telling by itself that 5 years into the CIA-on-the-Hudson program, they apparently hadn’t been, yet. That is, the NYPD doesn’t appear to have been pursuing terrorist organizations in general. (Indeed, it did not include Colombians–who might be of interest because of terrorist organizations FARC and AUC–among its ancestries of interest.)

But in spite of the fact that according to the NYPD, the MEK doesn’t pose a threat, it does appear to have included the MEK in their Iranian profiling. Among its recommended actions, it suggests,

  • Expand and focus intelligence collection at locations affiliated with the MEK.
  • Identify leads with subjects or locations having ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, PIJ, MEK, or the Alavi Foundation.

An excellent use of taxpayer dollars!

Granted, this document was written in 2006, so the NYPD’s profiling priorities may have been improved in the interim six years. But I wonder. When such prominent New Yorkers as Michael Mukasey and Rudy Giuliani joined the MEK speaking tour (technically committing material support for terrorism under Holder v. HLP) did the NYPD start collecting intelligence on them, too?

In any case, the NYPD’s belated decision to profile a designated terrorist organization at the time when they were deemed not to pose a threat sure embodies the kind if idiotic decisions that appear to lie behind the CIA-on-the-Hudson’s intelligence program.

Target of New Year’s Day Firebombing Also Target of NYPD Intelligence Collection

The latest Goldman and Apuzzo report on the CIA-on-the-Hudson provides proof that Ray Kelly and Mike Bloomberg’s claims that religious institutions are not profiled are false.

The New York Police Department recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on their religion, as a way to sweep the Northeast for signs of Iranian terrorists, according to interviews and a newly obtained secret police document.


The secret document stands in contrast to statements by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Kelly has said police go only where investigative leads take them, but the document described no leads to justify expanded surveillance at Shiite mosques.

The 2006 intelligence document they obtained shows not just affirmative spying on Shiites as Shiites, but also a really muddled sense of the religious faiths of Iranians, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern groups in this country.

But I’m particularly interested in one target of intelligence collection, according to the intelligence document: the Al-Khoei Islamic Center. That’s the mosque Ray Lazier Lengend firebombed on New Year’s Day.

The intelligence report includes the following on the mosque:

Source reporting indicates that members of Alavi Foundation are worshipping and conducting business at the Al-Khoei Islamic Center located in Jamaica, Queens,


Expand and focus intelligence collection at the Al-Khoei Islamic Center.


Hassan Fares [alleged to be a Hezbollah member or sympathizer and accused of extorting money for the mosque] has been observed in attendance at the Al-Khoei Center and has close ties to Fadhel al-Sahlani, the Imam of Al-Khoei. The Iraqi-born al-Sahlani is alleged to be the highest Shi’a religious authority in North America. On January 13, 2006, al-Sahlani was quoted by media sources stating that the Holocaust “has been exaggerated,” that “the numbers which have been mentioned are too much.” Al-Sahlani added that the “killing of innocent Jews during the war was an injustice,” but that the extent of Nazi persecution needed further examination. This was in support of statements made [sic] the Iranian President in regard to Holocaust. The Al-Khoei Center and al-Sahlani have been the subjects of law enforcement investigations by NYPD, JTTF, and the FBI. Al-Sahlani is the subject of a JTTF investigation for “attempting to depart the country with excess funds” and in late 2003, he was the subject of a lead investigation conducted by the Queens Case Team that alleged al-Sahlani was providing funds to a terrorist organization overseas. In January 2004, the case was closed as “unfounded.”

Open source research suggests that the UK-based Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation, of which Al-Khoei Islamic Center is part, is the largest Shi’a organization in the world. Treasury Enforcement Communication System (TECS) inquiries reveal the Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation allegedly imported Islamic books from Lebanon into the US. In addition, according to the California-based Islamic Education Center’s (IEC) newsletter, an “Al-Khoei Center” in New York was identified as an organization where IEC members (in this case, California State prison inmates) can obtain books and other similar resources.

[The intelligence report includes an additional allegation about the UK parent organization’s potential ties to purchasing information about chemical propulsion in violation of sanctions against Iran.]

To be clear, there is much that merits investigation–and it looks like appropriate authorities have done so and in at least some of the cases, proved the allegations to be unfounded. There is much that doesn’t merit investigation, such as the provision of religious materials to prisoners.

But in this instance, the stated reason to conduct this heightened investigation of Al-Khoei (as well as other Shiite, Iranian, and Palestinian) institutions is because,

The present diplomatic conflict between the US and Iran over Iran’s nuclear proliferation has the potential to evolve into armed confrontation between the two nations.

The report, dated May 15, 2006, preceded the Israeli attack on Lebanon by just a few months.

So maybe the NYPD claims it only profiles religious institutions if the US is drumming up war against them? And is it the NYPD’s stance, then, at times of increased Iranian-US tensions (like, say, now), the Al-Khoei Islamic Center is a fair target?

Judy Miller Discovers the Word “Claim”

Judy Miller, first amendment martyr, has finally found an assertion that she distrusts enough to diminish by using the word “claim:”

NYPD’s critics have complained about potential invasions of privacy and disruptions of New Yorkers’ civil liberties. During the Occupy Wall Street protests, several reporters and citizens claimed to have been abused and arrested without justifiable cause. [my emphasis]

Now, to her credit, she also modified Ray Kelly’s assertion that those who have Occupied Wall Street are anarchists.

He defended the NYPD’s dismantlement of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park last fall and its handling of the protests that threatened to block vehicular and foot traffic on city streets. Handling such demonstrations, said Kelly, was “a contact sport.” “Sometimes we overreact,” he conceded. “We make mistakes.” But by and large, he concluded, the department had done a “good job” of enabling social protest while also protecting the city against violent disruptions caused by a minority of what he called “anarchists.” [my emphasis]

Not to get all Truth Vigilante on an esteemed journalist like Judy Miller, but these are both testable assertions. There are videos clearly showing journalists being pushed around and arrested even though they were properly credentialed. And any discussion of the treatment of journalists at Occupy Wall Street must go further, to talk about how journalists were managed to ensure they couldn’t cover certain things, and how more generally the NYPD refused to credential journalists so they could cover it. And while you’re at it, it might be nice to mention that regular people also were abused and arrested without justifiable cause, not just journalists.

But then you might also have to go further when challenging Kelly’s claims than simply scare-quoting them. In fact, in most cases, violent disruptions were caused by the NYPD, not protestors.

Though, I guess if Ray Kelly wants to call his force a bunch of anarchists, he would know.

Law Enforcement Still Can’t Keep Hate Crimes and Terrorism Consistent

Last week, I noted that the NYPD–the same NYPD that had trumped up a “terrorist attack” against a synagogue last year–was calling the New Year’s Day attack on a Queens mosque a “hate crime.”

For the sake of consistency, I wanted to note that very similar attacks–Molotov cocktails thrown at houses of worship, in this case, synagogues–were also being called “hate” or “bias crimes” this week. This, from an FBI that has also entrapped people as terrorists with plots to attack a synagogue.

Now, to some degree, I think the FBI is operating on the same logic as the NYPD–by calling this a bias crime, they don’t hurt their “success rate” at finding and preventing terrorist attacks. I also think both agencies are suggesting that a kid entrapped to say he’d like to use more dangerous explosives (provided, often, by the FBI) is more dangerous than someone who actually acts on his own with whatever improvised explosive–a Molotov cocktail–he can procure without the assistance of an FBI informant. The FBI’s involvement seems to be the most dangerous aspect, according to that logic.

But that doesn’t explain the FBI’s logic for sending out this email update, titled, “2011 MLK Day Hate Crime Prevented; Case Solved,” and boasting that it was a “prototypical hate crime.

“Clearly he intended to detonate the device, cause mass carnage, and then survey the devastation,” said Special Agent Frank Harrill, who supervised the investigation. “Harpham was acting out against what he termed multiculturalism, but his hatred was firmly rooted in violent white supremacy. This was a prototypical hate crime.”

Kevin Harpham’s attempt to bomb last year’s MLK Day Parade in Spokane, WA, is surely a hate crime.

But it also clearly fits the definition of terror, particularly given that Harpham plead guilty to Attempted Use of a WMD, one of the government’s favorite charges for terrorists. The release even has a call-out describing what a sophisticated weapon Harpham had constructed for the attack, specifically calling it a WMD.

Kevin Harpham had been an artilleryman in the Army, and the bomb he meticulously constructed—using 128 fishing weights for shrapnel, each coated with an anticoagulant commonly found in rat poison—was not a typical improvised explosive device (IED).

“JTTF members on this investigation have had experience on many other bombing cases both here and abroad,” said Special Agent Joe Cleary, who worked alongside other agents, evidence technicians, and intelligence analysts on the Harpham case. “But none of us had ever seen this type of bomb in the U.S.”

Cleary explained that most IEDs are triggered with fuses or timers. “This was command-detonated,” he said. “Harpham designed it so he could remotely control when the blast would occur and the direction in which the shrapnel would fly. He placed the bomb so it would explode directly across the line of the march, thereby inflicting maximum damage to the marchers. This was a weapon of mass destruction.”

When bomb experts from the FBI Laboratory reconstructed the device and detonated it, the results were sobering, Cleary said. “The shrapnel exploded with such a high velocity that some targets in the shape of humans were blown over, and a metal filing cabinet was perforated—it was filled with holes.”

“Harpham intended to use this extremely lethal weapon on individuals solely because of their race and perhaps their religion,” Cleary said. “His plan was to wreak havoc on a crowd of innocents.” [my emphasis]

Harpham’s crime–an attempt to bomb a public space with a “WMD” thwarted by a diligent onlooker–is almost a mirror image for Faisal Shahzad’s Time Square bombing, except that Harpham’s bomb was more competent and lethal, and the timing of Harpham’s attack was tied to a political motivation.

So why boast of this successful hate crime conviction when the kudos in this country go to successful terrorism convictions?

One more thing. In its description of the FBI’s (very admirable) investigation, it notes this discovery:

Investigators also learned of Harpham’s white supremacy postings on the Internet and his affiliation with a neo-Nazi group called the National Alliance.

TPMM describes some of what those postings say here.

Update: And here’s a collection of them from his sentencing report. Note, for example, the one on PDF 6 that says, in a thread on “your favorite part of the Turner Diaries,”

In the army my lieutenant told me Tim McVey read the Turner Diaries and that there was a blueprint for a truck bomb in it. After I was out of the service and was getting to the point of advanced anti-government libertarianism, I bought the book and when I was finished I was extremely disappointed that there was no plans for a bomb inside.

But then later, it claims,

“Kevin Harpham was the lone wolf that all of us in law enforcement dread,” Harrill said. “He lived alone and he worked alone, and he didn’t foreshadow the bombing plot in any meaningful way.

Harpham foreshadowed his extremism, at least, the same way all the Muslim young men the FBI entraps did–in online chat rooms. What he didn’t do is exhibit his extremism in a form the FBI routinely investigates.

Is NYPD Avoiding “Terrorism” Charges in New Years Day Bombings To Claim They Didn’t Miss a Terrorist Attack?

The NYPD has caught the suspect in the New Years Day firebombings in Queens. The suspect, Ray Lazier Lengend, will be arraigned today (though he is also being evaluated for fitness to stand trial). Lengend will be charged with 18 counts, among them one charge of hate crime (for the attack on the mosque), as well as arson and weapons possession charges.

He will not be charged with terrorism.

Now, several of his attacks were targeted at specific individuals: his brother-in-law, Bejai Rai, who evicted him for not paying rent, and the bodega, for busting him for trying to steal a Frappuccino last week. The cops think the Hindu target was actually a case of a mistaken address.

But according to his confession, his primary target was the mosque (against which he also had a grudge, because they once refused to let him use their restroom) and his primary motive was to inflict as much damage on Muslims and Arabs as possible.

The unhinged Queens pyromaniac who unleashed a scary New Year’s Day firebombing spree had planned to take out “as many Muslims and Arabs as possible” by lobbing Molotov cocktails at worshipers inside a mosque, prosecutors said.

Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, allegedly told cops he had planned to inflict “as much damage as possible” by hurling all five of his firebombs from the balcony of Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center onto the crowd below.

Now, given past history, we can be fairly sure that if the NYPD had entrapped Lengend themselves making such threats against, say, a synagogue, they’d have called him, and charged him, as a terrorist. In May, after entrapping Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh (Ferhani, like Lengend, is mentally unstable) by selling them guns, the NYPD charged them as terrorists. Like Lengend, Ferhani and Mamdouh used ethnic slurs against their target.

Ferhani and Mamdouh were arrested May 11 on charges that they wanted to strike a synagogue to avenge what they saw as mistreatment of Muslims around the world. An undercover officer who investigated them reported that Ferhani wanted to become a martyr. The officer said secret recordings caught the men calling Jews “rats” and other names.

Back in May, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne suggested the decision to charge Ferhani and Mamdouh as terrorists was obvious.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne rejected the Federal critique and said “When somebody acquires weapons  and plans to bomb the largest synagogue in Manhattan he can find, what do you call it, mischief?”

Eight months ago, two guys in Queens seek weapons and plan to bomb the largest synagogue in the city, they’re called terrorists. Today, a guy in Queens makes bombs and actually does attack the most prominent Shiite mosque in the city, that’s called a hate crime.

Mind you, I’m not sure either of these should be called terrorism. But I do think the NYPD should maintain some consistency about whether bombing a house of worship is terrorism or a hate crime.

Now, I actually don’t think the NYPD has chosen to call plots they concoct through entrapment terrorism, while calling this a hate crime out of any explicit prejudice. Rather, I think they’re doing it for crime stats.

By charging Lengend–someone with a criminal history, so they’ve known about him for years–with a bias crime rather than terrorism, they can sustain their boastful claims about how successful they’ve been at “preventing” “terrorism.” If they actually did charge Lengend as a terrorist, they’d have to admit that, in spite of his criminal history, they hadn’t discovered his plans to commit terrorism. They’d have to admit they’re misallocating the $330 million annually they’re spending to profile Muslims. They’d have to admit that seeking out terrorists among certain religious groups doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find the “terrorists” (as they NYPD has defined them) out there.

They’d rather engage in a blatant double standard, it seems, then admit their domestic spying operation failed.

Is It Any Surprise NYPD Would Investigate Anti-Muslim Terrorism as a “Bias Crime”?

A number of people have observed the NYT’s description of 4 arson attacks apparently targeting Muslim sites (though one was actually Hindu) as “bias crimes.”

A wave of arson attacks spread across eastern Queens on Sunday night, and the police said the firebombings were being investigated as bias crimes — with Muslims as the targets.

But the choice to call this a “bias crime” rather than terrorism appears to come from the NYPD, not the NYT; the WSJ uses the same formulation.

Police on Monday were working to determine whether a series of suspected arson attacks against an Islamic cultural center and three other locations in Queens were linked, and were investigating the incidents as bias crimes against Muslims.

So it appears that someone mapped out four locations they believed to be Muslim sites and threw Molotov cocktails at them (in the case of the mosque, during a worship service at which 80 people were present). As the WSJ noted, the attacks followed closely on threats specifically mentioning Molotov cocktails posted on an anti-Muslim site.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the advocacy group, said CAIR recently called on the FBI to investigate threats targeting mosques posted on an anti-Islam blog called “Bare Naked Islam.”

One comment on the site read: “Throw 10 Molotov cocktails into these mosques and burn them down,” according to Hooper. By Monday, the comment appeared to have been taken down by blog operator

Now, let me be clear: nothing excuses the behavior of those targeting Muslims and Hindus; nothing excuses this kind of terrorism.

But it is worth noting that the same entity–the NYPD–that is treating these crimes as “bias crimes” rather than terrorism is the same entity that has set out to “map ethnic residential concentrations” and “ethnic hot spots” in NY, purportedly in pursuit of terrorism. It has called houses of worship a “key indicator.” It has mapped out some of the very same neighborhoods in which the attacks were launched.

You see, if the NYPD called this terrorism, they might have to start mapping out entirely different neighborhoods to find terrorists.

Update: Now that I think about it, using NYPD’s logic, the first place NYPD would have to profile if they considered this terrorism is Starbucks, given that 3 of 4 of the Molotov cocktails were made out of Starbucks bottles.

Update: NYPD has the hate crimes unit and precinct cops, but not the intelligence unit, investigating the attacks.

Meanwhile, political leaders spoke out against the incidents. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York Police Department hate crimes unit detectives were working with precinct detectives and looking into whether there were any connections to incidents outside the city.

NYDN: Census Now Mapping Your Back Hallways

A bunch of leaders in NYC’s Muslim community have declined Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s invitation to an interfaith breakfast because of the racial profiling done by the NYPD’s intelligence division.

The move is interesting for the press it has generated–which in turn, has also (presumably, as designed) focused new attention on the racial profiling itself

It’s interesting, too, for the obnoxious editorial written in response from the NYDN. Along with lecturing these Muslim leaders about what invitations they should accept, the NYDN claims that the NYPD had done no more than map out census data.

The plain and salutary fact is that the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit has done no more than use census data to develop a portrait of Muslim New York and then follow leads, some sent the city’s way from abroad via the CIA, when they demanded investigation.

Many a plot has been disrupted by this type of perfectly proper nonintrusive vigiliance.

I find the claim that this all came from census data alarming, given that the NYPD has actually cased out a bunch of Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, including details such as what back passages the restaurants have, as in these details about the Eastern Nights Cafe.

The restaurant consists of two stores next to each other, connected to each other from the back of the store. The restaurant also has a back yard. The restaurant has access to the basement; the access door is located on the far right of the store.

Note, too, that while NYDN might be speaking generally about the “many a plot” that has been disrupted by mapping the back hallways of NY restaurants, this surveillance has not only disrupted primarily aspirational plots, but it damaged the FBI investigation into the real plot Najibullah Zazi had planned, because one of the NYPD’s own informants tipped the Zazis off to the investigation.

And the invitation declination is interesting, finally, for the way the Muslim leaders framed this issue–as part of a larger choice on the part of the NYPD to neglect law enforcement while it engages in civil rights abuses not just of Muslims, but of people of color and Occupy Wall Street protestors.

Mayor Bloomberg, the extent of these civil rights violations is astonishing, yet instead of calling for accountability and the rule of law, you have thus far defended the NYPD’s misconduct. We, on the other hand, believe that such measures threaten the rights of all Americans, and deepen mistrust between our communities and law enforcement. We are not alone in our belief. Many New Yorkers continue to express a variety of concerns centered on a lack of law enforcement accountability in our city, from stop and frisk procedures in African American and Spanish-speaking communities, to the tactics used in the evacuation of Zuccotti Park.

That’s really what the NYPD surveillance is about: prioritizing the profiling of an entire community (even while periodically and repeatedly stopping and frisking totally innocent people of color), rather than investigating and solving actual crimes.

CIA: No Big Deal That We Trained NYPD to Conduct Domestic Spying

The CIA announced in September it was going to review a narrow aspect of the way CIA officers set up NYPD’s domestic spying agency in the wake of 9/11. As I pointed out then, the investigation was scoped to ignore key parts of the NYPD’s program.

The NYPD program is, by all appearances, a massive ethnic profiling operation that hasn’t been all that effectiveat finding potential terrorists. DOJ ought to be conducting this investigation as a potential civil rights violation.

But instead, CIA will conduct the investigation, meaning the chances the public will know the result are slimmer even than if DOJ conducted it.


So is CIA particularly worried? Both James Clapper and the CIA flack appear to be narrowly parsing the potential problem: whether or not there are CIA officers on the streets of NY, whether they are investigating domestically as opposed to overseas (remember, the NYPD is sticking its nose into overseas investigations, too).

And, surprise surprise! CIA’s Inspector General just announced that it found no problem in its narrowly scoped investigation.

The agency’s inspector general concluded that no laws were broken and there was “no evidence that any part of the agency’s support to the NYPD constituted ‘domestic spying’,” CIA spokesman Preston Golson said.


David Buckley, the CIA’s inspector general, completed his review in late October. It’s not clear if his report opens the door for other municipal police departments nationwide to work closely with the CIA in the war on terror.

Let the ineffective, wasteful domestic spying continue then, I guess!