By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
While the public’s attention has been focused on the battles between the White House and Congress, the race for mayor has been unfolding in New York City, with national implications. In the city of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Obama-backed “progressive” Democratic frontrunner is promising to close down New York Police Department surveillance of radical Muslims and replace Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Bill De Blasio has also promised to incorporate two Muslim holidays in the New York City public school system.
His embrace of Islam as an emerging political force was highlighted in an extraordinary New York Times article about his controversial past and support for communist regimes in Nicaragua and Cuba.
The Times had previously been known for its unrelenting attacks on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Police Commissioner Kelly.
At stake in the mayoral contest is not just whether de Blasio’s Obama-style tax-and-spending policies could bankrupt the city, but whether another major terrorist attack will be allowed to occur because of left-wing pressure to discontinue aggressive police tactics and surveillance activities. De Blasio’s opponent on November 5 is moderate Republican Joe Lhota.
The New York City Police Department reports, “There have been 16 known terrorist plots against New York City since September 11, 2001.”
On Wednesday, a group of militant Muslims rallied for Bill de Blasio in Brooklyn, New York. Local news reports identified the rally organizer and main speaker, Linda Sarsour, simply as the head of the Muslim Democratic Club. However, her family’s connections to the terrorist group Hamas have been mentioned in numerous press reports.
The New York Times reported, for example, that “Members of her family had been arrested on accusations of supporting Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip.”
The Muslim Democratic Club of New York had previously endorsed de Blasio for mayor, with Sarsour saying, “We are fully committed to push the Muslim vote out for Bill this November and look forward to working with him during his tenure to advance all communities in our city, including American Muslims.”
“New York is the jihadis’ prime target,” writes Pamela Geller, the founder, editor, and publisher of Atlas Shrugs.com. “This surveillance is in large part what has prevented another major jihad attack in the City since 9/11. So of course stealth jihadis like Linda Sarsour want this surveillance ended, and the leftist de Blasio is anxious to accommodate them.”
Sarsour denied the charges of personal family connections to Hamas, telling AIM, “It’s like saying all people with the last name Smith are related!? I have absolutely ZERO ties to Hamas and have condemned them numerous times.”
Sarsour insisted that the amount of critical attention focused on her activities is the result of “Islamophobia,” and pointed to a report on the “Islamophobia industry” published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front. She also cited a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center critical of Geller.
However, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a discredited organization that throws around wild charges against conservatives, accusing them of spewing “hate” and being conspiracy-minded “patriots.” This columnist has been one of their targets.
The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum, has noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center seeks to “silence those who seek to educate the public on the Islamist threat.”
The SPLC was itself linked to a terrorist attack on the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C. The SPLC had provoked the attack by a gay-rights activist by labeling the FRC a hate group.
Geller has clearly been targeted because she is a major figure in the movement to expose the threat posed by radical Islam. Her honors and awards include:
- The Annie Taylor Award for courage, from the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
- The Patriot of the Year Award, from the Queens Republican Club (the oldest Republican organization in the country).
- The Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism, from the Creative Zionist Coalition.
- The American flag that flew over Helmand Province, Afghanistan on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, presented to her by members of the U.S. Marine Corps.
- The “NCFRW Freedom Award,” presented by the Nassau County Federation of Republican Women.
While Sarsour’s alleged Hamas connections continue to generate comment and controversy, her statements critical of aggressive police tactics against potential terrorists are not in dispute.
A detailed 9-page report from the Investigative Project on Terrorism quotes a number of anti-police comments from Sarsour. She is even quoted as saying that terrorist convictions in such cases as al-Qaeda operatives Syed Hashmi and Aafia Siddiqui were somehow improper and unwarranted.
Referring to the NYPD, she said, “They are sending in informants, people who look like us, who speak like us to try to rake out what they say are potential terrorists, which we don’t have in our communities.”
Kelly’s proven record of stopping terrorist attacks includes his creation in 2002 of a Counterterrorism Bureau in the NYPD. It was the first unit of its kind in the nation.
It is not clear if de Blasio, as mayor, would dismantle the bureau.
Another issue is continued NYPD involvement in the Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) led by the FBI.
Last May, the New Jersey State Police and JTTF in Newark, New Jersey named Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, a Most Wanted Terrorist by the FBI. She is a convicted cop-killer who fled to Cuba with the help of the Weather Underground and has been living under Castro’s protection since at least 1984.
Cuba is where de Blasio and his wife reportedly spent their “honeymoon,” apparently in 1994, on a trip even described by the press as illegal. His wife is a former lesbian who lived in a Marxist “collective.”
De Blasio has refused to talk about the trip in any detail, and won’t even discuss his aliases and name changes. The New York Daily News reports he was born Warren Wilhelm Jr., changed his name to Warren de Blasio, and then to Bill de Blasio.
In another controversy, De Blasio said that he could not celebrate the “historical figure” of Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, as “there are some troubling things in his history.”
“Funny,” Geller commented. “The same can be said of de Blasio.”