(NYP) A Muslim “civil rights” group filed suit in federal court Wednesday seeking to bar the NYPD’s Intelligence Division from protecting New Yorkers from terrorist plotters.
The lawsuit was inevitable: Lefty activists have been salivating at the prospect since the Associated Press last year began a hugely disingenuous campaign to undermine the department’s legal surveillance in New York and New Jersey.
The offense? The department sent detectives to public places across the Hudson, while dispatching undercover officers to follow cases that led beyond city limits.
This was — is — perfectly legal. And the NYPD operated with the full knowledge and consent of both Jersey cops and officials in Trenton.
Just last month, New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa broke it to Muslim groups that the NYPD’s surveillance was faultless: “There was no evidence of illegal wiretaps or search and seizures. We’re not seeing any violations of law.”
In other words, the NYPD did everything by the book. And it also led to the arrests of several would-be terrorists.
But the San Francisco-based group Muslim Advocates chummed up eight plaintiffs in Jersey who say the department “discriminates on the basis of religion” and that Muslims have been “unfairly targeted and stigmatized by the NYPD.”
The fact is, the legitimacy of the NYPD initiative was affirmed after 9/11 when a federal judge actually loosened restrictions on NYPD’s surveillance powers. And the new guidelines were crystal clear:
“In its effort to anticipate or prevent unlawful activity, including terrorist acts, the NYPD must, at times, initiate investigations in advance of unlawful conduct.”
The guidelines allow the NYPD to travel to any place or event that is open to the public, or to go online and Google the same things private citizens are free to peruse.
Precisely what it did in New Jersey.
The NYPD once ignored Jersey and left terror investigations up to the feds. The result was the 1993 bombing and 2001 destruction of the Twin Towers, which were planned and enacted by individuals living in the Garden State. The department swore it would never happen again — nor would it trust the feds to handle terror on its turf.
The NYPD isn’t putting Islam on trial and isn’t “stigmatizing” Muslims because of their religion. It’s monitoring the region to root out a dangerous ideology that has been fostered and festered in a few high-risk communities in New York and beyond.
The suit deserves summary dismissal.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Where AP lies lead: Bogus lawsuit on NYPD surveillance