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The NYPD Boasts They Thwarted 14 Terror Attacks -- Why They Are Full of B.S.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said, " ... we have stopped 14 attacks since 9/11 fortunately without anybody dying." Is it true? In a word, no.

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    A British Airways aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport. (Getty Images)

    A British Airways aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport. (Getty Images)

    Transatlantic Plot In August 2006, British authorities arrested a group of men who were later charged with plotting to blow up planes bound for North America from London with liquid explosives. (This is the plot that led to restrictions on carrying liquids aboard planes.)

     

    The plot is included on the NYPD's list of 14 because, according to British authorities, one of the men had a memory stick that had information on flights bound for several Canadian and American cities, including, in one case, New York. The plan was to blow up the planes over the ocean.

    During the trial, there were  questions about whether the men were going to act on the plan imminently. Three consecutive trials in the case ultimately  resulted in eight convictions. The NYPD was not involved in thwarting the plot.

Cases with significant or dominant role by government informants:

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    Riverdale Temple (Getty Images)

    Riverdale Temple (Getty Images)

    The case of the  Newburgh Four, in which four men from upstate New York planted what they thought were real bombs outside synagogues in the Bronx. The men were found guilty in the case in 2010 after the jury  rejected an entrapment defense. The bombs were fakes supplied by the government.

     

    An informant posing as a Pakistani terrorist  recruitedWalmart employee and Muslim convert James Cromitie over nearly a year,  giving him gifts, including rent money and a trip to an Islamic conference. The informant plied Cromitie with offers of $250,000, a luxury car and a barbershop. An FBI agent on the case  acknowledged under cross-examination during the trial that the government was essentially in control of what the four were doing while they were with the informant. The government maintained that Cromitie was an anti-Semite who talked about committing acts of violence and posed a real threat.

    A judge who rejected an appeal last year nevertheless  called the government's conduct in the case "decidedly troubling."

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    (Jeremai Smith/Flickr)

    (Jeremai Smith/Flickr)

    Herald Square Pakistani immigrant Shahawar Matin Siraj was arrested in 2004 and  convicted in 2006 at the age of 23 of conspiracy to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan. The jury  rejected an entrapment defense.

     

    An informant for the NYPD's Intelligence Division played a key role in the case and was paid $100,000 by the government over a roughly three-year period. He  told Siraj he was a member of a (made-up) group called "the Brotherhood" that would support a bomb plot. Siraj was recorded talking to the informant about blowing up bridges and other places in New York, including the Herald Square subway station. The informant later  told Siraj that the Brotherhood had approved the plot and that a leader of the group was "very happy, very, very impressed" with the idea. The informant told Siraj the group wanted him to put backpack bombs in the station, and he drove Siraj and another man to the station to do surveillance.

    At his sentencing, Siraj apologized to the judge but  maintained he had been "manipulated" by the NYPD informant. Siraj did not obtain explosives, there was no timetable for the plot, and there was no link to any foreign terrorist group,  according to the Times.

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    Fuels tanks at JFK Airport (Getty Images)

    Fuels tanks at JFK Airport (Getty Images)

    JFK Airport Russell Defreitas, a naturalized American citizen from Guyana and former airport cargo handler, and Abdul Kadir, of Guyana, were arrested in 2007 and  convictedin 2010 of conspiring to blow up fuel tanks at JFK airport.

     

 
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