30 April 2006

Photos added by Cryptome.

There are few photographs of shy David Cohen; one other by the NY Times: http://cryptome.org/nypd-upnose.htm


New York Times, April 30, 2006

Ex-Agent Spurns New York City Police Job After Aides Criticize F.B.I.


Source: NY Times hardcopy 30 April 2006. NYPD Commish
Ray Kelly at left. Undated photo.


Retired FBI agent Dan Coleman
hunted Osama bin Laden for 10 years.

A former F.B.I. agent and expert on Al Qaeda abruptly changed his mind about his plan to work for the New York Police Department's Intelligence Division late last year, law enforcement officials said yesterday.

The former agent, Daniel J. Coleman, reversed his decision after a meeting in December with several officials, including a Police Department deputy commissioner, David Cohen, the officials said. At the meeting, the F.B.I. and more particularly, one of its officials, was criticized in ways that Mr. Coleman found offensive, said one of the law enforcement officials, who were granted anonymity because none felt comfortable discussing the matter publicly.

The change in Mr. Coleman's plans was first reported yesterday in The New York Post [below]. Paul J. Browne, the police department's chief spokesman, called the report "erroneous," but declined to elaborate.

Officials at both agencies, however, said that Mr. Coleman, who had worked on high-profile cases targeting Al Qaeda while in the F.B.I.'s New York office, was set to begin work at the Police Department before the December meeting.

Reached at his home last night, Mr. Coleman declined to comment.

The contretemps underscored the tensions that can sometimes arise between personalities at the F.B.I. and the New York police, though the two agencies in large measure work together successfully on a number of task forces investigating crimes from bank robbery and drug trafficking to terrorism.

Still, for years, police officials often complained that the F.B.I. did not share basic information, a concern that took on new weight after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, who navigated the federal bureaucracy in his years as a Treasury undersecretary and customs commissioner, reorganized the department after the attacks in an effort to prevent or prepare for another terrorist strike.

But some of those measures, including posting detectives overseas and dispatching some outside New York City's jurisdiction , were initially seen by some at the F.B.I. as an intrusion into the bureau's duties.

The Police Department began talking with Mr. Coleman after he retired in 2004, officials said.

But the department ultimately offered him a position under Mr. Cohen, whom he had met in 1996 and who took over the force's Intelligence Division after 35 years at the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Coleman agreed, the officials said. He filled out the paperwork and a start date in January was chosen for the job, which paid about $86,000.

Before that, however, he attended the December meeting with Mr. Cohen and others, the officials said.

At the meeting, the officials talked about ongoing and planned activities, including some outside New York City and outside the jurisdiction of the F.B.I.'s New York office, said one official.

At some point, Mr. Coleman suggested they talk to officials at the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force, which is made up of federal agents and local police, the official said. But Mr. Cohen then singled out a particular F.B.I. official, a former boss of Mr. Coleman's, for criticism and the meeting became unpleasant, the official said.

It was then that Mr. Coleman decided that the Police Department job was not for him, the official said.

"New York is a place of strong personalities, whether you are with the F.B.I. or the N.Y.P.D.," said John J. Miller, an F.B.I. assistant director.

"That said, the important thing to keep in mind is that the relationship between the two organizations is an old one and a strong one, "and that communications between the two departments and their leaders is going very well," he added.

Recently, police and F.B.I. officials have sought to put what they say is their markedly improved relationship on display. On Wednesday, the director of the F.B.I., Robert S. Mueller III, came to New York to give a speech saying terror attacks are as likely to originate locally — from individuals or groups who raise money from street crime — as they are from overseas. Bureau officials, in announcing the event, highlighted that Mr. Kelly would attend and that after Mr. Mueller's remarks, both men and the head of the F.B.I.'s New York office, Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon, would talk to reporters.

FBI's Mark Mershon at left, with Mayor Bloomberg and Police
Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Oct. 6, 2005. AP photo.

Mr. Mueller later briefed about 150 senior police commanders.

The department's recent attempts to hire former F.B.I. officials did not end with Mr. Coleman, who was credited with gaining cooperation from an important witness in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in 1998, who later testified in the case.

Two former F.B.I. officials, Sidney J. Caspersen and Ed Curran, have worked in the Intelligence Division for Mr. Cohen for about a month, Mr. Caspersen as assistant commissioner for intelligence programs and Mr. Curran as director of liaison operations overseeing relations on international, national and local levels.

Last year, while Mr. Caspersen was director of New Jersey's Office of Counter-Terrorism, he was at the center of a controversy over the way his agents had filed their reports to a statewide database. At issue was whether the names of people were entered because of affiliations with Muslim groups.

Earlier this month, a state police official accused one of his superiors of manipulating intelligence to create the impression that Mr. Caspersen's agency had been racially profiling Arabs, according a report in The Record, of Bergen County, N.J.


New York Post



April 29, 2006 -- EXCLUSIVE

One of the nation's foremost al Qaeda experts abruptly quit his new NYPD post because Commissioner Ray Kelly's top anti-terror intelligence czar launched into a foulmouthed tirade against the FBI - where the lawman had spent his career, The Post has learned. The stunning incident involving renowned former FBI agent Daniel Coleman - considered the bureau's pre-eminent authority on Osama bin Laden - came just days before he was scheduled to formally start working at the NYPD. Sources said Coleman was attending a morning briefing session at Police Headquarters at the invitation of Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen and Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism Michael Sheehan, the two honchos who had lured him to join the NYPD's expanding global anti-terror empire. [http://cryptome.org/nypd-upnose.htm]

Coleman, a 32-year FBI veteran known at the bureau as "The Professor," took his seat at the conference table along with Cohen, Sheehan and several others, including a current official of the CIA, where Cohen had worked for three decades.  The meeting barely started, sources say, when Cohen and Sheehan started to discuss the NYPD's anti-terror initiatives and plans. The discussion prompted Coleman to innocently ask Cohen whether he had spoken with the department's detectives on the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force who had global contacts. Cohen responded with derision and swear words, saying at first he didn't want to talk with the 150 NYPD detectives because he did not want to deal with the FBI's terror division chief, Chuck Frahm, whom he cursed out.

Coleman suggested Cohen needn't attack people personally, and that Frahm was a friend and former colleague. Then Cohen really erupted, broadening his assault to include the entire bureau - railing about the "'f---ing bureau' this and the 'f---ing bureau' that, and going on about how the FBI was always withholding information," a source said. Cohen was essentially saying, "F--- the FBI, we do what we want!" the source added. After listening to the brutal diatribe, Coleman pushed his chair away from the table, calmly stood up and announced that he was resigning - before he ever technically started - and walked out.

Ironically, Coleman, who declined comment, was the first FBI agent to team up with the CIA in 1995, when they created "Alex Station" to specifically zero in on bin Laden. "My guess is that this account is being peddled by someone who's unhappy about the outstanding relationships between the FBI and the NYPD at the highest levels on down," an NYPD spokesman said, adding that two top former G-men with 60 years of combined experience presently work for Cohen. An FBI spokesman said, "We continuously strive to maintain our strong working relationship with the NYPD."

On Thursday, with Commissioner Kelly at his side, FBI Director William Mueller made a speech at the Hilton in Midtown that heavily emphasized the good relations between the NYPD and the bureau.