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25 March 2007

Related: http://cryptome.org/nypd-upnose.htm


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/nyregion/25infiltrate.html

New York Times, March 25, 2007

City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention

[Excerpts]

For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews. From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show. They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms. From these operations, run by the department’s “R.N.C. Intelligence Squad,” the police identified a handful of groups and individuals who expressed interest in creating havoc during the convention, as well as some who used Web sites to urge or predict violence.

But potential troublemakers were hardly the only ones to end up in the files. In hundreds of reports stamped “N.Y.P.D. Secret,” the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law, the records show. These included members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar organizations, as well as environmentalists and people opposed to the death penalty, globalization and other government policies. Three New York City elected officials were cited in the reports.

In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. A police report on an organization of artists called Bands Against Bush noted that the group was planning concerts on Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Between musical sets, the report said, there would be political speeches and videos. “Activists are showing a well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment; the mixing of music and political rhetoric indicates sophisticated organizing skills with a specific agenda,” said the report, dated Oct. 9, 2003. “Police departments in above listed areas have been contacted regarding this event.” Police records indicate that in addition to sharing information with other police departments, New York undercover officers were active themselves in at least 15 places outside New York — including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montreal, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. — and in Europe.

The operation was mounted in 2003 after the Police Department, invoking the fresh horrors of the World Trade Center attack and the prospect of future terrorism, won greater authority from a federal judge to investigate political organizations for criminal activity. To date, as the boundaries of the department’s expanded powers continue to be debated, police officials have provided only glimpses of its intelligence-gathering. Now, the broad outlines of the pre-convention operations are emerging from records in federal lawsuits that were brought over mass arrests made during the convention, and in greater detail from still-secret reports reviewed by The New York Times. These include a sample of raw intelligence documents and of summary digests of observations from both the field and the department’s cyberintelligence unit.

On Wednesday, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the convention lawsuits are scheduled to begin depositions of David Cohen, the deputy police commissioner for intelligence. Mr. Cohen, a former senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency, was “central to the N.Y.P.D.’s efforts to collect intelligence information prior to the R.N.C.,” Gerald C. Smith, an assistant corporation counsel with the city Law Department, said in a federal court filing. Mr. Cohen contended that surveillance of domestic political activities was essential to fighting terrorism. “Given the range of activities that may be engaged in by the members of a sleeper cell in the long period of preparation for an act of terror, the entire resources of the N.Y.P.D. must be available to conduct investigations into political activity and intelligence-related issues,” Mr. Cohen wrote in an affidavit dated Sept. 12, 2002.

When the city was designated in February 2003 as the site of the 2004 Republican National Convention, the department had security worries — in particular about the possibility of a truck bomb attack near Madison Square Garden, where events would be held — and logistical concerns about managing huge crowds, Mr. Browne said. In its preparations, the department applied the intelligence resources that had just been strengthened for fighting terrorism to an entirely different task: collecting information on people participating in political protests. In the records reviewed by The Times, some of the police intelligence concerned people and groups bent on causing trouble, but the bulk of the reports covered the plans and views of people with no obvious intention of breaking the law. By searching the Internet, investigators identified groups that were making plans for demonstrations. Files were created on their political causes, the criminal records, if any, of the people involved and any plans for civil disobedience or disruptive tactics.


Top NYPD spies at the time of the Republican National Convention: Police Commissioner Raymong Kelly, Deputy Police Commissioner Intelligence David Cohen, Deputy Commissioner Of Counter Terrorism Michael Sheehan (who has since left the department and replaced by David Falkenrath) and Deputy Commissioner Operations Phil Pulaski (then Assistant Chief).

Ex-CIA David Cohen is said to intensely dislike his photo being published; his NYPD biography remains a years-long promise unfulfilled.

Photos below from a Court TV broadcast on June 27, 2006.


New York Police Department
Spy Operation

Eyeball

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Michael Sheehan, Raymond Kelly, David Cohen
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David Cohen
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Michael Sheehan, Raymond Kelly, David Cohen
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Michael Sheehan, Raymond Kelly and David Cohen
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David Cohen
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Raymond Kelly and David Cohen
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Cohen top right, Meehan bottom right
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According to Court TV, the Secret Entrance to the Operations Center
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Defense attorney of the man at right. Stolar charged that the NYPD entrapped the
man by use of an undercover policeman who encouraged the man to plot an attack.
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"An investigation by the Intelligence Division led to the arrest — coincidentally, three days before the convention — of a man who spoke about bombing the Herald Square subway station." NY Times, March 25, 2007. Court TV photo.