New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly went on Inside City Hall last night to discuss, among other things, his department’s controversial surveillance of Muslim businesses and communities unearthed by The Associated Press.
“We’re sort of under attack,” Mr. Kelly said, arguing the AP fostered a narrative that his department has done something illegal. “The AP has done over 30 stories. It’s pretty tough to go up against a wire service that has a certain template that it’s sticking to.”
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t see eye to eye with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on how much information New Jersey is getting from the New York City Police Department.
Yesterday, Governor Christie indicated his state was receiving very little information. “9/11 was not prevented because law enforcement agencies weren’t talking to each other, they were being selfish, they were being provincial, they were being paranoid, they were being arrogant,” he warned. “I do not want to return to those days.”
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Congressman Pete King, hosting John Gambling’s radio show this morning, interviewed New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly about the recent criticism the NYPD has received over its extensive surveillance of Muslim businesses and mosques. Both the interviewer and interviewee blasted the media for calling the NYPD’s actions “spying.”
“I just wish the media would show some responsibility and use the words ‘surveillance’ or ‘police investigation’ rather than ‘spying.’ To use that term, to be accusing you of ‘spying,’ is, to me, really offensive,” Mr. King said, asking Mr. Kelly what he thought of the issue.
“It’s a pejorative term, it sells well,” Mr. Kelly responded. “They forget we’ve the subject of 14 plots since 9/11 … We’ve been lucky. We just have been lucky.”
After a recently leaked New York Police Department document revealed extensive surveillance operations of mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in Newark, New Jersey, critics pounced. However, on John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued the attacks of September 11th proved the need to monitor the Garden State.
“You’ve got to remember, an awful lot of 9/11 hijackers stayed in New Jersey for an extended periods of time, training, planning their attacks,” he said. “Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the attacks, often met with others in Newark to coordinate and plan the attacks, including selecting which flights to hijack. There’s a reason to take a look at Newark here.”
“The people of Newark New Jersey, the people of New Jersey, are protected as well,” he added. “The NYPD is trying to stop terrorism in the entire region. If we knew about at threat in Newark, we wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, that’s yours. You worry about it.’ Quite the contrary.”
On John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took some time to defend the New York Police Department, which is under criticism for spying on Muslims throughout the Northeast, including sending an agent on a whitewater rafting trip while counting how many times a day some Muslim students prayed. Today, the Associated Press further reported the NYPD “targeted Muslim mosques with tactics normally reserved for criminal organizations.” Mr. Bloomberg didn’t have any problem with these actions, however.
“Our primary objective is to prevent things from happening,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “We’ve got to do everything that the law permits us to do to prevent another terror attack, and we cannot forget that.”
“We’re going to continue to take all possible legal steps to keep this city safe. We’re going to follow all possible leads wherever they take us,” he repeated later in the interview.