Bloomberg rejects criticism from Booker and Christie, doesn't say if the NYPD's Jersey activity continues
In response to criticism from Newark mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie about the N.Y.P.D.'s surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during his regular Friday morning radio appearance, "Everything that the New York Police Department has done is legal, it is appropriate, it is constitutional."
"This is not a political statement, or a political football to play with," said the mayor. "We are threatened."
While Booker and Christie have professed ignorance of and displeasure with the NYPD's acitivities, as reported recently by the A.P., Bloomberg said this morning that, at the very least, Booker's police department was fully informed.
"We did brief the Newark police department," he said, on John Gambling's show. "We did not, to the best of my knowledge, brief Mayor Booker. So Mayor Booker says he did not know, and he’s telling the truth."
The mayor then explained why it made sense for the NYPD to conduct surveillance on New Jersey residents.
"You’ve got to also remember, an awful lot of the 9-11 hijackers stayed in New Jersey for extended periods of time, training, planning their attacks," said Bloomberg. "The 9-11 Commission report said hijackers often traveled to and from New Jersey. And Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the attacks, often met with others in Newark, to coordinate and plan the attacks, and including selecting which flights to hijack."
"Keep in mind, the people of Newark, New Jersey, the people of New Jersey, are protected as well," he continued. "The NYPD is trying to stop terrorism in the entire region ... If we knew of a threat in Newark, we wouldn’t say, 'Oh that’s yours, you worry about it.' Quite the contrary."
Following up, Gambling said, "I can only assume this type of thing continues, for all of the reasons you’ve laid out?"
"Let me be careful how I phrase it," said Bloomberg. "We have not let down our guard. We take the threats of today just as seriously as the threats of Sep. 12, 2001."