This, from today’s New York Times:
Congressman proposes national surveillance effort like New York’s.
Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, after meeting with the president-elect in Trump Tower, proposed that Mr. Trump adopt a national counterterrorism strategy based on the surveillance efforts of Ray Kelly, the former New York police commissioner.
If it takes up the suggestion, the Trump administration will need some good lawyers.
The Kelly-era method of intelligence gathering was accused of targeting Muslims and has been the subject of years of litigation. A federal judge recently ruled that the New York Police Department had shown a “systemic inclination” to ignore rules protecting free speech and religion. Under Mr. Kelly, the city put its police intelligence division under the leadership of a retired C.I.A. officer and sought to build a domestic intelligence-gathering operation in that mold.
Among its contentious tactics, the department labeled mosques as potential terrorist organizations, allowing officers to tape entire sermons and collect information about anyone who attended prayer services. Plainclothes detectives hung out in restaurants and cafes in Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and keeping notes about how customers felt about drone strikes, foreign policy and politics.
“They were very effective for stopping terrorism, and they should be a model for the country,” Mr. King said.
He did not mention that an attempted car bombing in Times Square was thwarted only by a bad design, or that the most significant Al Qaeda plot against the city since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks slipped through the department’s net.
In that case, the department had no intelligence on Najibullah Zazi, a trained Qaeda operative living in Queens and visiting the very businesses and mosques that were under surveillance. He was identified by the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation before he could bomb the city’s subway system.
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