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August 22, 2005
The NYPD infiltrates online terrorist lairs
Memo to Osama: we're watching you. Newsday has the details on how the NYPD is widening its efforts to monitor Islamic extremists on the Internet:
"The New York Police Department officers surfed jihadist Web sites and chat rooms in which suicide bombings and beheadings are celebrated and hatred of the West rages. Their assignment: Pose as Islamic extremists, locate and engage real ones, then extract any shred of information about possible terrorist threats against the city."
A big hat tip to the NYPD for tapping into the linguistic expertise of its workforce. The department has more than 450 officers who speak a number of exotic languages, including Farsi and Arabic, and has been putting them on the international terrorist beat when possible. Across the country, other police departments have not made nearly the same effort to recruit Arabic-speaking officers:
"The focus on language expertise separates the NYPD from many other big-city departments. Spokesmen at several Florida law enforcement agencies, including the Miami-Dade Police Department, said they make no special effort to develop Arabic speakers, and the Los Angeles Police Department calls language-services companies when it needs interpreters."
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