NYPD's Surveillance Program: It's Not About Islam, It's About Protecting New York
National security should serve policy objectives. It should not be a victim of political correctness. Politics should be kept especially far away from the practice of intelligence.
Today's decision by the NYPD to close the unit that was mapping Muslim communities in New York is very likely a product of political pressure. It is a decision that will make the city targeted in the largest terrorist attack in modern history less safe.
I have gone on record in the past—on Al Jazeera, of all places—to explain why the program was a good idea and crucial to preventing terrorist plots in the future.
In short: this was not a program to blanket surveil all Muslims living in and around New York. That would be pointless and impossible even for the NYPD. The fact is terrorists live in and exploit the communities Muslims have built. From Richard Reid the Shoebomber to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American al Qaeda leader in Yemen, terrorists have been recruited and have used mosques and Islamic centers around the world to organize and plan. A cop knows his community and who fits in and who doesn't. That's how you prevent all types of crime, not just mass-murdering terrorists.
After 9/11, the political leadership in New York determined that the federal government had failed the people of their city and decided not to rely on Washington to prevent the next attack. Fourteen of the 19 plots hatched by al Qaeda since 9/11 have targeted New York, so this was a very wise decision.
Subsequently, they built a world-class counterterrorism intelligence capability, deployed NYPD "attaches" to key CT-relevant cities around the world, and published the best operational analysis of jihadi radicalization available today.
This decision is likely the product of the successful campaign launched by CAIR and its allies to delink Islam and al Qaeda and otherwise undermine other counterterrorism efforts across America. See Patrick Poole's excellent report on their assault on national security here. They are doing this despite the fact that CAIR and its compatriots have been designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist financing trial in history, the Holy Land Foundation Trial. See the original documents here.
NYPD is target No.1 for al Qaeda. On the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, someone decided to make it easier for jihadi terrorist to attack it.
Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. is the National Security Editor for Breitbart News.