As for CAIR, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) put their efforts in perspective as well. “It is absolutely disgraceful that The New York Times, the Associated Press, other elements of the politically correct media have allowed themselves to be used by groups such as CAIR and I just wish once…just once, the New York Times or the Associated Press instead of calling CAIR a ‘Muslim civil rights organization’ would refer to them as what they are; unindicted co-conspirators in the most major terrorist financing case in the United States,” he said.
Yet it was NYPD spokesman Paul Browne’s response to the FBI’s Michael Ward that revealed the most critical distinction between spying and surveillance. In an emailed response, he contended that plainclothes officers from the NYPD operating outside of New York “were not conducting blanket ongoing surveillance of communities.” They were going into neighborhoods with concentrated populations from “countries of interest” and observing people in public establishments. “This is an important point–only public locations were visited,” Browne noted. “This was perfectly within the purview of the NYPD.” Mayor Bloomberg underscored what this meant. “[NYPD officers] are permitted to travel beyond the borders of New York City to investigate cases, they can look at websites, they can watch television to detect unlawful activities,” he said.
Furthermore, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization focusing on Constitutional law, did an extensive legal analysis of the NYPD’s activities. Their conclusion? “The surveillance techniques used by the NYPD pose no constitutional concerns and reflect a sound and legitimate response to ongoing terrorist threats facing New York and America,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. The report itself concluded that the NYPD “is not straying from limits imposed by the Constitution nor is it taking extraordinary measures not authorized by the [court-sanctioned procedural and investigative] Guidelines. The world is changing, and law enforcement must be given the means to deal with the new challenges created by global terrorism. Surveillance of mosques and student organizations with a significant record of terrorism is a legitimate response to a serious problem facing New York City and the nation.”
After the report was issued, more than 20,000 Americans voiced their support for NYPD’s anti-terrorist operations. And lest anyone think the people in New Jersey were upset by the NYPD expanding its efforts into the Garden State, think again: another Quinnipiac poll released on April 11th revealed that 71 percent of New Jersey voters believe the NYPD is “doing what is necessary to combat terrorism” and 62 percent believe Muslims are being treated appropriately.
Yet it was the New York Post that delivered the ultimate reality check regarding the entire series of AP stories and the subsequent awarding of the Pulitzer Prize honoring them. They noted that the AP’s “one-sided narratives…never even cited a single thing the cops did that is illegal, or even ill-advised.” They further contended that the AP’s “ill-gotten prize…says more about mainstream journalism than about the NYPD.”
The three men involved in the terrorist trial that began Monday trained in Pakistan, where they learned to use AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and small arms, according to Zarein Ahmedzay. They also met with a jihadist operative named “Hamad,” with whom they discussed launching attacks in New York when they got back home. “Are we talking about suicide operations, suicide attacks in New York City?” asked federal prosecutor Berit Berger. “Yes,” replied Ahmedzay. What were the targets? “Times Square, Grand Central Station, Penn Station and the Stock Exchange,” Ahmedzay replied. A successful attack at any one of those locations would have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of New Yorkers.
Perhaps the AP and the Pulitzer Committee should take note: Islamic jihadists have their “prizes” as well.
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