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Stratforgate: 'NYPD’s felonious activities worse than Hoover’s'

Published time: September 05, 2012 14:17
Edited time: September 11, 2012 20:47
A New York Police Department officer (C) waves a club at Occupy Wall Street protesters (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

A New York Police Department officer (C) waves a club at Occupy Wall Street protesters (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

Leaked Stratfor files point to alleged transgressions on the part of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division. An unnamed FBI source allegedly described them as “damn right [sic] felonious activity.”

­The alleged commentary came up in a November 2011 email addressed to Fred Burton, vice president for intelligence at Stratfor, a private US-based intelligence firm. Burton is former deputy chief of the counterterrorism division at the State Department with wide connections in the American intelligence community.

The senior FBI official gave an insight into the case of Jose Pimentel, a man who was arrested by the NYPD on suspicion of terror plot in November 2011, reports Jason Leopold and Matthew Harwood in an article recently published by Truth-out.org. Back then the FBI declined to be involved in the case and the city’s district attorney would not proceed with the prosecution. It was later revealed that an NYPD informant provided Pimentel with resources to build home-made bombs. He also smoked pot with the suspect at the time the man uttered the incriminating statements that led to his arrest. All this made the case vulnerable to the entrapment defense.

In the email the FBI source details the problems with the informant and goes on to explain the tension between the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and NYPD – Joint Terrorism Task Force, an FBI-led investigative unit combining resources of federal, state and local law enforcers.

“The NYPD JTTF guys are in total sync with the Bureau and the rest of the partners who make up the JTTF – I understand there are something like 100 NYPD dics [detectives] assigned to the JTTF. NYPD Intel… on the other hand, are completely running their own pass patterns. They hate their brother NYPD dics on the JTTF and are trying to undermine them at every turn,” the message reads.

The FBI official goes on to describe David Cohen, a former CIA analyst who brought in his intelligence methods to the Intelligence Division, when he headed it in response to the September 11 attacks, as a man “who, near as anybody can tell, never had to make a criminal case or testify in court.”

“I keep telling you, you and I are going to laugh and raise a beer one day, when everything Intel has been involved in during the last 10 years comes out – it always eventually comes out. They are going to make Hoover, COINTEL, Red Squads, etc look like rank amatures [sic] compared to some of the damn right [sic] felonious activity, and violations of US citizen's rights they have been engaged in,” the official writes.

The message was sent to Stratfor’s Alpha List of analysts for background information. Burton describes the source as “an old personal friend” and apprentice.

The NYPD has faced harsh criticism for its counterterrorism activities, which human rights activists say breach the limits of law. Those include profiling of Muslim residents, infiltrating civil groups and launching clandestine operations outside of their jurisdiction.

Some 5 million Stratfor emails were stolen from one of its servers in February by the hacker group Anonymous. The data was then handed over to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, which has been publishing it in chunks ever since. Truthout is one of WikiLeaks’ partners in the disclosures.

Stratfor confirmed the theft of the emails, but warned that whatever eventually surfaces may be altered or completely false. The company declined to comment further on authenticity of any documents published.