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NYPD Snoop Declares Zuccotti Park A “Soft Target” for Terrorists: Really?

Plainclothes cop says the NYPD response to OWS is meant to stop the next 9/11, but a newly alleged terror plot suggests the police may have put protesters at increased risk.

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Whether Jose Pimentel’s case turns out to be substantive or one of a number of generally inept terrorist plots – including those of the Liberty City Seven, the Fort Dix Six, the Detroit Ummah Conspiracy and the Newburgh Four – that are often fueled, in part, by law enforcement agencies remains to be seen. 

Regardless, the latest alleged plot and recent NYPD statements concerning security camera surveillance raise serious questions about the actions of the department and its frequent resort to using the cover story of anti-terrorism to cloak unrelated spy tactics and others matter they would rather not discuss.

If the NYPD were more forthcoming and honest, perhaps their words and actions wouldn’t suggest that the department, specifically Commissioner Ray Kelly, took steps to make protesters in Zuccotti Park more likely victims of terrorist violence.

Now that the encampment  at Zuccotti Park is gone, it remains to be seen whether the surveillance effort to protect it from terrorists will endure.

Nick Turse is the associate editor of TomDispatch.com and a senior editor at AlterNet. His latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso). You can follow him on Twitter @NickTurse, on Tumblr, and on Facebook