Michael B. Ward special agent in chargeof the FBI’s Newark Division meets with the media in Newark, N.J. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The New York Police Department’s clandestine surveillance of Muslims has damaged the public’s trust in New Jersey law enforcement and jeopardized some of the relationships agents had sought to build in the community since the 2001 terror attacks, Ward said. Ward emphasized, however, that his agency has an overall good working relationship with the NYPD. (AP Photo/The Record of Bergen County, Elizabeth Lara) ONLINE OUT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVING; MANDATORY CREDIT
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — In a rare public criticism of the New York Police Department, the top FBI official in New Jersey said Wednesday that the department’s surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created “additional risks” in counterterrorism.
The monitoring of Muslims in Newark and across the state has damaged the public’s trust in New Jersey law enforcement and jeopardized some of the relationships agents had sought to build in the community since 9/11, said Michael Ward, agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division.
“When people pull back cooperation, it creates additional risks, it creates blind spots,” Ward told reporters at a press briefing that he called to address the FBI’s role in the NYPD monitoring of Muslims, reported in a series of stories by The Associated Press. “It hinders our ability to have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on around the state, and thus it causes problems and makes the job of the Joint Terrorism Task Force much, much harder.”
Ward said the NYPD had worked Login to read more