NYPD’s “mini-CIA” head slams FBI counterterror work

Reports have blamed the NYPD surveillance apparatus for missing a 2009 terror plot; David Cohen blames the feds

Topics: Matt Apuzzo, adam goldman, David Cohen, mini-CIA, intelligence, Najibullah Zazi, Counterterrorism, Terrorism, New York, NYPD, FBI, ,

NYPD's "mini-CIA" head slams FBI counterterror work (Credit: AP)

In their newly released book detailing the history of a covert “mini-CIA” within the NYPD, Pulitzer Prize-winning AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Goldman show how the vast police surveillance apparatus in New York failed to catch the plan of Afghan-American al-Qaida operative Najibullah Zazi to bomb the New York subway system, who was eventually thwarted by federal authorities.

“He was right under the NYPD’s nose and they missed him,” Goldman told me for an interview about his book, “Enemies Within” (published here earlier this week.)

But now, the head of the NYPD’s covert intelligence division (largely made public by Apuzzo and Goldman’s work) is pushing back. “They [the FBI] fucking let explosives into New York City,” Cohen told the Daily Beast, decrying the federal efforts to track and stop Zazi.

But, as HuffPo’s Matt Sledge highlights, and “Enemies Within” reports, it was the New York Port Authority police, not the FBI, that let Zazi’s car enter the city.

You Might Also Like

To repeat what Apuzzo told me, the NYPD Intel unit that specifically engaged in preemptive policing with scant regard for First and Fourth Amendment protections, failed to do the very thing it proposed to do: Fish out threats like Zazi:

At every turn, these [NYPD] programs were built specifically to catch someone like Zazi, an al-Qaida trained bomber who was coming up out of New York City to bomb the subways. At every turn, these programs failed. At every single turn, they had infiltrated his mosque, they had turned his imam into an informant, they had infiltrated his student co-conspirator group. They were in the travel agency, they had done surveillance of the travel agency where they’d bought the tickets to go to Pakistan. They were in the YMCA around the corner from his house. There was no shortage of surveillance

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...