(UPDATE) Mayor’s office disputes de Blasio’s claim on counterterrorism
UPDATE: After Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office was quick to dispute criticism leveled by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a breakfast on counterterrorism this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office stepped in with a clarification.
Kelly had expressed concern that none of the mayoral candidates had requested a terrorism briefing with the NYPD, arguing that it calls into question their commitment to counterterrorism efforts.
Wiley Norvell, the spokesman for de Blasio’s government office, said that was untrue of de Blasio.
According to Norvell, the public advocate’s office requested just that on Aug. 29.
“After the president’s remarks on Syria, the office requested a briefing from the NYPD on the city’s counterterror efforts,” said Norvell, adding that the office “is working with City Hall to schedule it.”
But City Hall said that is not entirely true.
“The Public Advocate’s Office made a request specific to steps the police department was taking after the president’s Syria announcement – and they were given a reply,” said Bloomberg spokesman Kamran Mumtaz.
After Kelly’s speech this morning, the public advocate apparently reached out for “a broader briefing on the department’s counterterrorism efforts,” Mumtaz said.
Mumtaz confirmed that the mayor’s office is “working with the NYPD to arrange that.”
Metro’s original story is below.
At a breakfast with the Association for a Better New York and the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday morning, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said it’s “imperative” we know where mayoral candidates stand on counterterrorism efforts.
Almost 12 years to the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Kelly expressed concern that the people vying to be mayor of New York City do not take the threat of terrorism seriously enough, and won’t exhibit the same “resolve” as Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
He expressed concern that the candidates have not been asked about “their understanding of the terrorist threat to New York City and its immediacy,” their opinion on what the NYPD’s role should be in protecting the city from global threats and their commitment to fighting in Washington, D.C., for federal funding for NYPD counterterrorism programs.
“Don’t be lulled into complacency by our success in forestalling another attack on the city,” Kelly warned.
Kelly said none of the candidates has requested a briefing from the police department regarding terror threats against the city, but public advocate spokesman Wiley Norvell said Bill de Blasio’s office did just that on Aug. 29, and is “working with City Hall to schedule” a briefing.
Kelly reeled off a list of five terror threats against New York City in the last 10 months alone, counting among them the allegation that the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the catastrophic Boston Marathon bombing were headed to New York.
Kelly also used the breakfast as an opportunity to defend the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program, which has recently come under renewed attack as newly released reports detail even more expansive use of the program than was previously known.
Many of the sources of those reports were federal law enforcement officials, and Kelly made clear his disdain for those sources.
“To be frank, there are some in the federal government who resent what they view as the NYPD’s intrusion into their domain,” Kelly said. “On occasion this breeds tension.”
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