• Buro Jansen & Janssen is een onderzoeksburo dat politie, justitie, inlichtingendiensten, de overheid in Nederland en Europa kritisch volgt. Een grond-rechten kollektief dat al 30 jaar publiceert over uitbreiding van repressieve wetgeving, publiek-private samenwerking, bevoegdheden, overheids-optreden en andere staatsaangelegenheden.
    Buro Jansen & Janssen Postbus 10591, 1001EN Amsterdam, 020-6123202, 06-34339533, signal +31684065516, info@burojansen.nl (pgp)
    Steun Buro Jansen & Janssen. Word donateur, NL43 ASNB 0856 9868 52 of NL56 INGB 0000 6039 04 ten name van Stichting Res Publica, Postbus 11556, 1001 GN Amsterdam.

  • Categorieën

  • From Mosques to Soccer Leagues: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spy Unit Targeting Muslims, Activists

    Since 9/11, the New York City Police Department has established an intelligence operation that in some ways has been even more aggressive than the National Security Agency. At its core is a spying operation targeting Arab- and Muslim-Americans where they live, work and pray. The NYPD’s “Demographics Unit,” as it was known until 2010, has secretly infiltrated Muslim student groups, sent informants into mosques, eavesdropped on conversations in restaurants, barber shops and gyms, and built a vast database of information. The program was established with help from the CIA, which is barred from domestic spying. Just last month, it emerged the NYPD has labeled at least 50 Muslim organizations, including a dozen mosques, as terrorist groups. This has allowed them to carry out what are called “Terrorism Enterprise Investigations,” sending undercover informants into mosques to spy on worshipers and make secret recordings. We’re joined by the Pulitzer-winning duo who exposed the NYPD’s spy program, Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, co-authors of the new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” We’re also joined by Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, which was among the groups targeted by the NYPD.

    This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

    AARON MATÉ: Yes, well, it’s been 12 years since the 9/11 attacks, but only now is a full picture emerging of what could be one of its most controversial legacies. In the aftermath of 9/11, the New York City Police Department established an intelligence operation that in some ways has even been even more aggressive than the National Security Agency. At its core, a spying operation targeting Muslim Americans, where they live, work, and pray. The NYPD’s demographics unit, as it was known until 2010, has a secretly infiltrated Muslim student groups, sent informants into mosques, eavesdropped on conversations and restaurants, barber shops, and gyms, and built a vast database of information on Muslim Americans. The program was established with help from the CIA, which is barred from spying on Americans.

    AMY GOODMAN: Just last month, it emerged that the NYPD has labeled at least 50 Muslim organizations including a dozen mosques as terrorist groups. This has allowed them to carry out what are called terrorism enterprise investigations, sending undercover informants into mosques to spy on worshipers and make secret recordings. That news came just weeks after a group of Muslim Americans filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD’s spy program, alleging what they call unconstitutional religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance. At a news conference, plaintiff Asad Dandia described his run-in with the man who turned out to be a police informant.

    ASAD DANDIA: In March of 2012, I was approached by a 19-year-old man. He came to me telling me that he was looking for spirituality, and that he was looking to change his ways. He said he had a very dark past and wanted to be a better practicing Muslim. So, I figured what better way to have him perform his obligations than to join this organization? In October of 2012 he released a public statement saying he was an informant for the NYPD. When I found out, I had a whole mixture of feelings. Number one, I was terrified and I was afraid for my family, especially my younger sisters who were exposed to all of this. I felt betrayed and hurt because someone I took in as a friend and brother was lying to me.

    AARON MATÉ: That’s Asad Dandia, one of the plaintiffs in the suit by Muslim Americans against the NYPD for spying. Arguments in the case began last week. While the spy program has been intrusive, it has also been ineffective. The NYPD has even admitted that the demographics unit failed to yield a single terrorism investigation or even a single lead. In a deposition last year, the commanding officer of the intelligence division, assistant NYPD chief, Thomas Galati, said “I could tell you that I have never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report and I’m here since 2006. I don’t recall other ones prior to my arrival.”

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, the NYPD spy program was first exposed in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series by the Associated Press. Two lead reporters on the story have just come out the new book that expands on their ground breaking reporting. Their book is called, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” Co-authors Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman join us here in New York. They shared the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Matt, lay it out. Lay out this book for us. In a nutshell, how you got on this story, and what you found.

    MATT APPUZO: Sure, well, our book really goes a lot deeper and a lot broader than we were able to do even in all the many stories we wrote for the AP. What we really focused on is how in the aftermath of 9/11, about how the NYPD working hand-in-hand with the CIA, built an intelligence apparatus that focuses on American citizens like no other police department in the country. This active-duty CIA officer and a retired CIA officer built in apparatus by which, you know, a sort of army of informants is out there and we have these demographics officers who their job is just to hang out in neighborhoods and listen for what people are talking about.

    Some of what we have seen in these files, it’s a file says, we saw two men speaking at a cafe and they were talking about what they thought about the president’s state of the union address, and here’s what they thought. What do they think about drones, what do they think about foreign policy, what do they think about American policies toward civil liberties, you know, TSA. Are we too discriminatory against Muslims? All the stuff ends up in police files and their justification is, we need to know what the sentiment of these communities are so we can look for hotspots.

    AARON MATÉ: Adam, talk to us about how this plays out. So, you have NYPD Commissioner, Ray Kelly, working with David Cohen from the CIA, and they set out to create basically a map of all New York’s ethnic neighborhoods?

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Yeah, that’s right, I mean, that is what the demographics unit was doing. They wanted to literally map the human terrain of the five boroughs of New York. And they went beyond too, they went into Newark, they went into other places as well; Newark, New Jersey. So, they had this fear after 9/11, and they looked out into the Queens and Brooklyn and these other places where there were a lot of Muslim Americans and thought, we don’t know much about these communities and they looked, as an example, at people like Mohammed Atta, who was one of the 9/11 hijackers. Mohammed Atta had radicalized, he had grown more religious, and he was — he had given off the signals in front of the community, and they wanted to be in the communities in New York, so if there is anyone like Mohammed Atta, in fact anybody who was radicalizing they would have listening posts. They would have eyes and ears in the community to pick up on that.

    AMY GOODMAN: One of the things you write about is how the undercover officers would go to the best Arab food restaurants, not coming up with leads, but because the food was good and just “spy” there.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: We found a lot that these plainclothes officers working with the demographics unit were gravitating toward the better restaurants. There is a bakery, the Damascus Bakery in Brooklyn that serves excellent pastries. There is a kebab house in Flushing, Queens that serves excellent kebab. And what the commanding officer in charge of the demographics unit started to see was there were many reports being filed from similar locations. And how do spend you $40 at the pastry shop? And so, eventually, he determined they were going there, following these reports, simply because the food was good.

    AMY GOODMAN: Matt Appuzo, talk about the main players here. Talk about Larry Sanchez, talk about David Cohen who’d come from the CIA and went to the NYPD.

    MATT APPUZO: Sure, Ray Kelly comes on board as police commissioner after 9/11, and says, look, we can’t rely solely on the federal government. And I think really smartly said, we can’t do business as usual. We need to start developing our own intelligence and have a better sense of what is going on in the city. So, the guy he hired to do that is a man named Dave Cohen, who we profile really deeply in the book, who made his career at the CIA, rose to the level of the deputy director for operations, basically a nation’s top spy.

    So, he retired as the head of the clandestine service. And he was basically recruited out of retirement to start what is, basically a mini-CIA at the NYPD. One of Cohen’s first things, is he then calls down to the CIA and says, hey, I need an active-duty guy who can be my right-hand man. George tenet, the director of the CIA, sends Larry Sanchez to New York. And Larry is this very likable guy, skydiver, scuba diver, a guy’s guy, and he’s active duty, so he’s got a blue CIA badge. So, he can start the morning — early morning at the CIA station in New York and then kind of go over to the NYPD and he is directing domestic operations for NYPD and he is telling officers how to do collection or where to focus their efforts. And he really was the architect of the demographics unit. So, this guy, active-duty for the CIA, was really the intellectual father of the demographics unit.

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back to this discussion. We are speaking with the prize-winning reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, who have written the book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” We will be back with them in a moment.


    AMY GOODMAN: Our guests are Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, reporters for the Associated Press, co-authors of the brand-new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” We are also joined by Linda Sarsour. She is here in New York City, a leading Arab-American activist with the Arab American Association of New York, a national network for Arab American communities. I’m Amy Goodman with Aaron Maté.

    AARON MATÉ: Well, before break, we were talking about Larry Sanchez who came to the NYPD from the CIA. Let’s turn to a part of a 2007 hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs that looked at the NYPD’s counterterrorism efforts. This is, then Senator, Joe Lieberman questioning New York City Assistant Police Commissioner Larry Sanchez, the analyst who came to the NYPD from the CIA.

    JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: I’m paraphrasing, but I think you said that the aim of this investigation and of the NYPD was not just to prevent terrorist attacks, obviously, post-9/11 in New York City, but to try to prevent — understand and then prevent the radicalization that leads to terrorist attacks. So, in the end of it, what are the steps that you come away with that you feel in this very usual area, unremarkable people, not on the screen of law enforcement — how do you begin to try to prevent the radicalization that leads to terrorism?

    LARRY SANCHEZ: Let me try to answer this way; the key to it was, first, to understand it, and to start appreciating what most people would say would be noncriminal, would be innocuous, looking at behaviors that could easily be argued in a western democracy, especially in the United States, to be protected by First and Fourth Amendment rights, but not to look at them in a vacuum, but to look across to them as potential precursors to terrorism. New York City, of course, has created its own methods to be able to understand them better, to be able to identify them and to be able to make judgment calls if these are things that we need to worry about.

    AARON MATÉ: That’s Larry Sanchez, testifying in 2007. Matt Apuzzo?

    MATT APPUZO: Adam and I have watched that clip and read the transcript, I don’t know, dozens of times, and one of our great regrets is that this happened in 2007 and nobody, and including us, said, hey, that guy just got up and said stuff that is protected by the First Amendment shouldn’t be viewed as such and should be viewed as potential precursor to terrorism and that the NYPD has these sort of unspecified methods to decide how to ferret that out. I kind of watch that now, and I remember when that happened, and now I’m kind of like, how the heck did I not — how did the reporter in me not say, geez, well what are these methods? Why the heck did it take four years before…? You know, Adam and I look back now and we’re like, jeez, they told us they were doing this stuff, they told us — they laid it all out there. And why weren’t we as journalists, as a public, more skeptical and why weren’t we willing to ask more questions?

    AMY GOODMAN: The FBI, Adam Goldman, and the NYPD were also competing with each other, so much so they were going to sue each other. Can you explain what was happening?

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Well, there was enormous friction between the FBI and the NYPD, mainly the NYPD intelligence division. And these two outfits would sometimes not work in harmony. Mainly because Dave Cohen thought that the intelligence division and his detectives should go on their own. He didn’t want to be part of the part of what they called group think. So, they said, look, we’ll go out and we’re going to investigate and if we find something, we’;ll bring it to you. But, the problem with doing that is that, sometimes these investigations were in late stages and the FBI had concerns about how they had developed these cases. And it flared up in the newspaper. And in the end, the FBI felt like, look, you just can’t go out and do your own thing. We’re going to stop this, we got to work as a team and that is how you build — cooperation is how you build stronger cases.

    AARON MATÉ: Matt, and the spying of course, also extended beyond the Muslim community. There’s reports in your book about spying on left-wing activists, on bicycle protests?

    MATT APPUZO: Yeah, so, everybody remembers the bombing of the Times Square recruiting station. The pipe bomb, thankfully didn’t injure injure anyone, but it was 3:00 in the morning and blew out a window. Well, in the aftermath of that, the NYPD, and we’ve seen this in the files, the NYPD did an investigation were they said, you know, we have identified this blog that posts links to protests, news stories about protests and pictures of protests all around the world, confrontations, anarchist protests, radical protests, people throwing people throwing Molotov cocktails. That’s what this blog does, and they said, boy, that blog had a link up to a Fox news story about the Times Square bombing within three hours. And to the NYPD, the three hours seemed awfully quick. And so, they said, well, maybe that suggests that the guy who runs the blog knew in advance. And it turns out that at one point years earlier, one of the guys who ran the blog, this guy named Dennis Burke, he had ties to Critical Mass, the guys who ride the bikes, and Time’s Up New York, the protest group in New York City.

    AMY GOODMAN: And friends of Brad Will.

    MATT APPUZO: And friends of Brad Will, the group that wants to get to the bottom of the death of American journalists in Mexico. So, they actually open an investigation based on those facts. They open an investigation not only into Burke, but also into his associates in these other groups. And so, they infiltrated the Times Up guys, the Critical Mass guys, the Friends of Brad Will. They actually sent an undercover officer as part of this investigation out to the People’s Summit in New Orleans, which is a group of sort of anti-globalization groups, and the NYPD was there. Because of this investigation into the bombing, they actually put into the files, people who were organized — labor organizing for nannies, people who were talking about the Palestinian conflict with the Israelis, people who are writing newsletters from, sort of, left-wing organizations, this stuff that had no connection — nobody believed there was any connection to the bombing, but it just shows you how this stuff spirals away from its central focus.

    AMY GOODMAN: Linda Sarsour, can you talk about, as your with the Arab-American Association of New York, how the investigations that the NYPD was conducting that Adam and Matt are describing, affected you and your community?

    LINDA SARSOUR: So, Adam and Matt basically confirmed everything that our community already knew was happening, at least since immediately after 9/11. And the terrorist enterprise investigations that you heard also included, I believe, my organization. And what the NYPD wanted to do to my organization, they clearly lay this out in a secret document, they wanted to recruit a confidential informant to sit on my board. So, not only were they creating listening posts and going into our restaurants, coming to our events, coming — acting as clients in our organization, they wanted to actually have someone who would be a deciding figure on my board, have access donors, have access to information, access to financial information, and I think that we keep learning that the program is just more outrageous. And what it does is it creates psychological warfare in our community.

    How am I supposed to know if the NYPD was successful in that endeavor? That’s number one. Number two is, the community, right now, is in a position where, how do we even know the guy next to us that’s praying at the mosque or the guy at the restaurant that’s like trying to open a conversation with us about something that is happening in Egypt, for example, and for those people who know, Arabs, particularly, we love to talk about politics. And a lot of our families came to the United States so we could have a place to practice our religion freely, to have our own political views, and now that we know that the NYPD wants to hear what our sentiment is, people probably don’t want to share their sentiment.

    The most disturbing of all is our Muslim student association who are calling us to consult about how political should their events be. Now, when I was in college, I wanted my events to be as political as possible. And if they weren’t, I wanted to figure out how to make them controversial. And the fact that our students feel that they can’t do that because there are going to be NYPD informants, because they can be taken out of context and because they think that something like what happened to Fahad Hashmi is going to happen to them, I think it is a valid concern.

    So, I’m a New Yorker and I hope others are outraged to know that the New York Police Department is spying on innocent Americans in their neighborhood. The last point that I want to make is that these terrorist investigations, what happens is, is that if they open one, anyone who comes into that facility that’s under investigation is subject to that investigation. So, if my organization has this terrorist enterprise investigation, that means every client, every staff member, every family member, every vendor that we work with is subject to this investigation by the New York Police Department.

    AMY GOODMAN: Tell us about the NYPD Soccer League.

    LINDA SARSOUR: A program that the NYPD touts as a community outreach program, and something we that believed as a community we were involved in because we wanted to get kids off the street, we wanted kids to play sports and it was organized sports competition between kids from different boroughs. It was fun. We joined, as the Arab American Association of New York. We had a team, Brooklyn United. In 2009 we beat the Turks from Queens, and it was great, and it was fun, and we have a huge trophy from the New York Police Department. What we learned later learned through secret documents is that the New York Police Department was using a sports league — now imagine that your child is part of this league and is being spied on by the New York Police Department. And what the New York Police Department did is they actually mapped out for you two different documents. One was, where did the South Asians play cricket and watch cricket, and where did the Arabs play soccer and watch soccer? For those of you who know soccer, Arabs are not the only ones that play soccer. Definitely not in New York City anyway.

    So, I feel the information just gets more outrageous that even something as simple as sports, as playing soccer, is something that is under the terrain of the New York Police Department, that our kids were subject to intelligence gathering and spying by the New York Police Department when all they wanted to do was beat some people or some other kids in another borough. And I think our kids, right now, you know, their families are like what’s this. How am I supposed to explain to them that I didn’t know, that I was not — that I had no intention of subjecting their children to intelligence gathering by the New York Police Department? And so, I personally get put in a situation that Commissioner Kelly and his people put us in. And actually the Arab officers who worked in the Community Affairs Department, I don’t know if they knew, but if they did know, shame on them for allowing us to be a part of something where they knew had ultimate if reasons.

    AARON MATÉ: Now, Linda, hear in New York, there is obviously a lot of public protest against stop-and-frisk. How has it been to organize resistance to this spying on your community? What are you finding in terms of the public’s perception to this program?

    LINDA SARSOUR: In New York right now, and I think in the country as a whole, I think that you’ll find it is more likely for people to say, oh, stopping 685,000 blacks and Latino young people, that’s a little racist, you know, that’s kind of a little too much. I think we’re finding more people, and I’m part of the stop-and-frisk movement as a person who is not black or Latino. So, I’ve seen that sentiment. But, with the spying, it has been hard to get people to understand that it is the same thing. They are both discriminatory policies that target communities of color. No matter what way somebody tries to explain it to me.

    The problem with our movement is that it’s framed in the sense of personal security, so people are like, well, if you are not doing anything wrong, what’s the problem? What’s the inconvenience of some guy who listens to, like, your conversations. And I think that’s where the fundamental principles of who we are as Americans and what our rights are, right to privacy — I shouldn’t have to worry about working in an organization that — that’s infiltrated by the New York Police Department. I hope no one else has to worry about that. But, it’s been a little difficult for us to organize around this, but continue to do so.

    AMY GOODMAN: Speaking to MSNBC last month, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly responded to the report by our guests Matt Appuzo and Adam Goldman that the NYPD has labeled mosques as terrorist organizations. Kelly insisted the NYPD’s operations are legal.

    RAYMOND KELLY: I haven’t seen the story, but they’re hyping a book coming out next week. Actually, the book is based on a compilation of about 50 articles that two AP reporters did on the department. It’s a reflection of the articles and the book will be a fair amount of fiction, it will be half-truths, it will be lots of quotes from unnamed sources. And our sin is to have the temerity, the chutzpah, to go into the federal government’s territory of counter-terrorism and trying to protect the city by supplementing what the federal government has done.

    JOE SCARBOROUGH: You do agree that entire mosques should not be labeled terrorist organizations, right?

    RAYMOND KELLY: Absolutely, of course, of course. And again, we do according to law, what we are investigating, and how we investigated is now pursuant to a federal judge’s direction.

    AMY GOODMAN: That’s New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who is reportedly one of the people being considered to head the Department of Homeland Security. Adam Goldman, there was a lot there, accusations that your reports are fiction and based on unnamed sources. Go ahead.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Well, one of the things we tried to do with this book that the NYPD doesn’t do is we tried to be incredibly transparent. If Ray Kelly gets the chance, he can read the book, he’ll find that many people spoke on record about what the NYPD was doing. Named individuals, including Hector Berdecia who ran the demographics unit. Another thing we tried to do is end note all these secret documents that were leaked to us so the reader themselves can go and look at the end note and then go to our website, enemieswithinbook.com, and read the secret files them self, and come to their own conclusions. So we lay all that out and in an effort to be completely transparent. The book is, as The Wall Street Journal said, assiduously reported. The other point I’d like to make about Ray’s comments is that he won’t engage with us on the book and he’s never engaged with us either on the book or our reporting. And Matt and I went to great lengths in the book to make a good case for why the NYPD felt like they needed these programs in the aftermath of 9/11.

    AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the head of the demographics unit who then came to be completely disturbed about what his unit was doing.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Yeah, he was guy, he was a legendary narcotics detective. I mean, he was taking down drug dealers, taking guns off the streets. He was also a military reservist.

    AMY GOODMAN: His name?
    >> Hector Berdecia. And after 9/11, he spent time in Iraq and he was there post-invasion. And he came back to New York and they offered him this job to run this secretive unit that he was unfamiliar with. And he took this job. And he felt that, you know, hey, there are bad guys in New York, there are bad guys in New York, there’s Al Qaeda in New York, and he believed it. He, himself, had said himself he sort of drank the Kool-Aid. As he went on running this unit, he began to get frustrated and he began to see that he had really talented detectives, right, with really great language skills, right, and they weren’t making any cases. It was just and effective way — it was more about effectiveness, is this an effective way to use resources of talented police investigators? These were guys who are used to putting bad guys in jail, right? Taking drugs off the street, taking guns off the streets. Guns kill people. And he, instead, was writing intelligence reports about what people think of the state of the union address. And eventually, I think he got frustrated and disillusioned with the program.

    AARON MATÉ: Matt, can you talk about the issue of oversight? First of all, this raises a lot of civil rights issues. Has there been a response from White House or from the Justice Department? And then also talk about what kind of oversight exists here in the city.

    AMY GOODMAN: Right, and what — is this happening now?

    MATT APPUZO: Everything that we talk about in the book, with the exception of a few sort of ancillary programs, but the core of the book, to our knowledge, is still happening now. Fascinating the issue of oversight, the NYPD gets money from the City Council every year, obviously, the City Council never held a hearing to actually look into the intelligence division’s programs. They have never been subjected to an audit. The intelligence division gets money from the White House under a drug trafficking grant. The White House says, we don’t have any — we don’t know what the money is used for. You can’t hold us to account with what the NYPD does with our money. Congress has funded these programs. They don’t know, they’re not equipped to know, they don’t ask. Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have spent $1 billion, $2 billion at the NYPD since 9/11. They say they don’t know what goes on, and the way the grants are set up they they don’t have the ability to know.

    There is essentially, no outside oversight at the NYPD intelligence division. The programs are opened in house. They don’t have to be approved by a judge, they don’t have to be approved by a prosecutor. Kelly likes to talk about we have all the federal prosecutors and the district attorney, but they don’t actually decide when the Intel division can open the case. So there isn’t the kind of outside review that you would see at the CIA or the FBI. And, you know what, from our standpoint, the lack of transparency, the fact this was all done in secret with no public airing, was really what drove us to write this book, because you can’t — people can’t give their informed consent to a program that they don’t know exists, they don’t know what they’re giving up, they don’t know what they’re getting in exchange.

    AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, as we come to the end of this conversation, Najibullah Zazi, of course, a key figure in your book?

    MATT APPUZO: The book, in its essence, is a thriller book, I mean, it’s a chase. This is essentially 48 hours inside New York City as the entire intelligence apparatus of the United States tries to unravel the most serious Al Qaeda plot since 9/11, inside the United States, three young men led by Najibullah Zazi, with a bomb, bearing down on the New York City subways, had this been successful, it would caused hundreds if not thousands of fatalities. And we take a real hard look, a real critical look — or we think a thorough look, at what works and what doesn’t. And what we found is at every opportunity, that Zazi is interacts with these intelligence programs of the NYPD Intelligence Division, the [Unintelligible].

    AARON MATÉ: They were in his neighborhood.

    MATT APPUZO: They were in his neighborhood, they were in his mosque, they had turned his Imam into a cooporative, they had an undercover in his mosque, they were in his co-conspirator student group, they were in all the restaurants in his neighborhood, they were in the travel agency where he bought tickets to go to Pakistan — the train. This was not a failure of resources and manpower.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, what happened?

    MATT APPUZO: Well, they didn’t — they missed him. Well, you have to read the book to find out how they stop him, come on. The subways don’t blow up, so the real rush is good collaboration, good cooperation is what saves the day.

    AMY GOODMAN: And Adam, what most surprised you in doing this series of articles? You did scores of articles, and of course, the book is more than the compilation of the articles.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: I think what most surprised us is while we were doing the series that led to the Pulitzer, we knew they were in the mosques and we knew they had informants in the mosques, they had under covers in the mosques. And Ray said, well, we’re just following leads, and this is all legal. That’s been Ray’s — that’s Ray’s phrase, it’s all legal. And we didn’t really didn’t understand how is this all legal. How can you just be a mosque?

    AMY GOODMAN: People might be surprised that the CIA is involved in local surveillance.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Right, right. Then while we were reporting at the book we obtained documents this is how they were doing it. We learned about the terrorism enterprise investigation. And so, now, holistically, we understood, oh, right, so, they open this investigation on sometimes reed-thin suspicions and they use that to gather their intelligence on these mosques — the leadership of the mosques for years and years and years and years. They never made a terrorism enterprise case. And by designating the mosque a terrorism enterprise, they could send in their informants and undercovers, you now, they send in people with spy gadgets, listening devices in their watches and their [] and that was really extraordinary. I want to make a point —- one last point about Ray, and why we make the -—

    AMY GOODMAN: Ray Kelly, the Commissioner.

    ADAM GOLDMAN: Ray Kelly, and why we wrote this book. We’re not questioning Ray Kelly’s patriotism, and we’re not questioning his authority as Police Chief to keep this city better. I guess what we’re doing is, and maybe to use one of Ray’s words, is it’s chutzpah. I guess we have the chutzpah to ask questions about what the police department is doing and whether these tactics work.

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there, but we will continue to talk to you as you continue to uncover what is taking place. I want to thank you both for being with us, and congratulations on your Pulitzer for your series of articles. The new book is, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman. And thank you so much, Linda Sarsour; Arab American Association of New York and the National Network for Arab American Communities. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, we look at a terrorist attack that occurred 50 years ago this past Sunday. It was September 15, 1963, and it happened in the Birmingham Baptist Church. Four little girls were the fatalities. We’re going to speak to the fifth who did not die, but lost her eye. We’ll go to Birmingham, Alabama. Stay with us.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Find this story at 17 September 2013

    The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.