De Blasio to chase jihadist landlords?
A similar case was filed in New Jersey previously. That lawsuit accused New York cops of illegally surveilling Garden State mosques. The Bloomberg administration did not settle the New Jersey case. Rather, it persuaded a judge to disnmiss it. In his decision, the judge noted that the activities monitored by the police, such as meetings in mosques, were open to the public. He therefore ruled that no one was harmed by the surveillance.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken a different tack than Bloomberg. While the terms of the recent settlement are unknown, given that the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] was involved, it’s fair to assume that police monitoring of potential terrorist activity will be curtailed.
Even before settling the New York case, the de Blasio administration dismantled the “Demographics Unit,” which conducted the disputed surveillance. At the time the unit was scrapped, the mayor quipped that he had “promised the people of New York a police force that … is … respectful.” De Blasio claimed that scuttling the squad was “a critical step forward …so that our cops … can … go after the real bad guys.”
De Blasio’s approach is unnerving. It appears that many New Yorkers fear it will compromise law enforcement’s ability to thwart terrorist attacks. This fear has a foundation.
For example, one of the individuals who sued the city was the imam of a mosque co-founded by a man convicted of plotting to join radical Islamist forces. Other parties to the lawsuit also had alleged ties to jihadists.
I guess that the mayor doesn’t consider radical jihadists to be “real bad guys.” So who exactly are the malefactors that the NYPD will pursue with priority from here on?