Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder told U.S. senators that he was disturbed by what he’s read about the New York Police Department conducting undercover and surveillance operations targeting mosques and Islamic student organizations in New Jersey.
Holder was testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee when New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, asked about the NYPD spying operation in New Jersey.
While most of the operations were conducted within New York, NYPD officials admitted some of the operations led them outside of New York State and into New Jersey, which angered politicians such as Lautenberg, and received condemnation from the FBI, which claimed “the surveillance damaged relations with Muslims and weakened national security.”
When Sen. Lautenberg asked how a New York City police agency could spy on other states’ residents without any interstate-interagency input, Holder said, “I don’t know. We are in the process of reviewing the letters that have come in expressing concerns about those matters.”
“At least what I’ve read publicly, and again, just what I’ve read in the newspapers, is disturbing,” Holder said. “And these are things that are under review at the Justice Department.”
Three dozen Democrat members of Congress have asked for a full Justice Department investigation.
“I can’t read their minds or look into their hearts, but based on their actions it seems to me the Democrats will always jump at the chance to investigate cops or intelligence agents or military personnel, but are lax when it comes to investigating the enemies of the U.S. or the criminals,” said former police detective Mike Snopes, who served in the NYPD Intelligence Division.
“Holder, Lautenberg and others are disturbed with the [NYPD] because the department didn’t allow political correctness to get in the way of protecting New Yorkers,” Snopes said.
“And as far as New Jersey, let’s remember that members of a Jersey City mosque were involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center,” Snopes added.
Last Monday, as reported in The Examiner, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, joined a group of American Muslim leaders to show their support for the New York Police Department’s highly successful counterterrorism efforts, a NYC police officer told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
According to Detective Iris Aquino, press conference was organized by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) at the NYPD’s headquarters at 1 Police Plaza in lower Manhattan.
“The news media and commentators have been unfair and unreasonable in their criticism of the NYPD following a series of news reports regarding surveillance and intelligence gathering operations,” Det. Aquino told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
“The press conference by a diverse, broad-based group of American Muslim leaders who have come together to address recent criticism of the counterterrorism programs of the NYPD [is important at this time],” said Rep. King said during the Monday press conference.
“The public discourse concerning Muslims and NYPD has been dominated by a perception that American Muslims feel targeted. This press conference gives voice to a large coalition of American Muslims who feel otherwise and reject Islamist representation of their voices,” stated King.