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AP: Consequences For Security as NYPD-FBI Rift Widens

March 21, 2012


In the New York media, fighting and personalities in the FBI and NYPD are frequently covered like a dysfunctional celebrity marriage, with perceived betrayal and reconciliation spilling into the news, writes Adam Goldman of the Associated Press.

In the fall of 2010, the FBI and New York Police Department were working together on a terrorism investigation on Long Island. The cyber case had been open for more than a year at the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn. So, the Justice Department was surprised when, without notice, the NYPD went to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and asked them to approve a search warrant in the case.

The top counterterrorism agent at the FBI in New York at the time, Greg Fowler, hit the roof. When two agencies don't coordinate, it increases the risk that the investigation and any prosecution could be compromised.

In an email response, Fowler prohibited his agents from sharing information with the NYPD's intelligence unit. He also suspended the weekly management meetings of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the primary pipeline through which information flows to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It slowed to a trickle.

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