Three years go I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a couple of police officers from the New York Police Department who were part of that department’s counterterrorism apparatus. The things I learned about the NYPD left me extremely impressed. A few of the things I learned:
• The NYPD has officers attached to police departments in major cities around the world to both observe their foreign counterparts’ counterterror efforts and to ensure sharing of intelligence directly between police departments, without the information being delayed and filtered by national intelligence agencies.
• The NYPD has more personnel than the entire FBI.
• The NYPD has a linguistic capability exceeding that of any other US police department and probably exceeding the linguistic capabilities of the FBI. Here is an example of how important this capability is:
Several years ago, members of the security detail of Iran’s UN mission were observed by NYPD uniformed patrolmen videotaping and photographing New York City landmarks, as well as rail and subway facilities. The New York cops detained the Iranians, who, of course, claimed not to speak English (no doubt a lie). This was not a problem for the NYPD. Within an hour, a NYPD officer fluent in Farsi was on the scene to question the detainees (who, unfortunately, were diplomatically immune).
Also a few years ago, the NYPD counterterrorism unit published a report on Islamic “radicalization” in the West called Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat. (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/NYPD_Report-Radicalization_in_the_West.pdf)
That report was good enough for Muslim Brotherhood front groups to demand that it be redacted in its entirety, a sure sign that it hit too close to home.
One man who has seen the effectiveness of NYPD’s counterterrorism unit is former Assistant US Attorney Andrew McCarthy, who now writes for National Review. McCarthy convicted Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the “Blind Sheikh,” for his leading role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In the article linked below, he details how the NYPD did much of the work–overcoming federal incompetence and politics–to lay the groundwork for the Blind Sheikh to be sent to jail…