Holder: Reports Of NYPD Surveillance In NJ ‘Disturbing’

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder says he’s disturbed by what he’s read about the NYPD conducting surveillance of mosques and Islamic student organizations in New Jersey.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Holder says the Justice Department is reviewing the matter, including letters from New Jersey officials complaining that they were kept in the dark about the surveillance.

The attorney general made the remarks at a subcommittee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee when asked by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., how a law enforcement agency could spy on another state’s residents without notifying authorities.

“I don’t know,” Holder replied. “We are in the process of reviewing the letters that have come in expressing concerns about those matters.”

“At least what I’ve read publicly, and again, just what I’ve read in the newspapers, is disturbing,” Holder said. “And these are things that are under review at the Justice Department.”

Holder said he has also spoken to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who strongly emphasized his concerns about the surveillance program.

The attorney general said that at a reception several days ago, Christie “expressed to me the concerns that he had” and that he “has now publicly expressed his concerns as only he can.”

Christie has criticized the NYPD for what he and other New Jersey officials have described as less than full coordination and disclosure to them of what was going on.

Holder didn’t say whether he was more concerned about the lack of coordination or the surveillance itself.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney In Jersey City

Meanwhile, an interfaith news conference was held in Jersey City Thursday to denounce the NYPD’s surveillance program.

“An investigation will definitely shed a lot of light on who knew what and where and who should have had the responsibility to carry the admission forward and who should have stopped it and what have you,” said Mohamad El Filali, executive director of the Islamic Center in Passaic County.

He wasn’t yet saying if he was considering a lawsuit, El Filali thinks the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims and businesses violates their civil rights by investigating across the Hudson River.

“There is no justification,” he said.

“If you don’t stand up with your brothers and sisters of other faiths, what happens to them will eventually happen to you,” said Father Phil Latronico from the Newark Archdiocese, among several clergy who spoke out.

State attorney general spokesman Paul Loriquet says what they find will determine their actions at that point.

On Wednesday, the head of the Newark FBI said the NYPD’s monitoring of Muslims in the Garden State has hindered the feds’ ability to gather counter terrorism intelligence.

“What we’re seeing now with the uproar that is occurring in New Jersey is that we’re starting to see cooperation pulled back. People are concerned that they’re being followed. People are concerned that they can’t trust law enforcement,” said FBI Newark special agent in charge Michael Ward.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the city and the NYPD.

“Anything we’ve done in New Jersey, we have done under an agreement with the state of New Jersey that was signed by a previous governor, and still remains in effect,” said Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Back in 2005, then New Jersey Gov. Dick Codey signed the executive orders that allowed the NYPD to cross the Hudson and carry out surveillance operations in New Jersey.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Ace

    Remembering 1993 base of operations in NJ

    Abdel Rahman is the infamous “Blind Sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 for masterminding a terrorist war against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks.

    Abdel Rahman is also responsible for the fatwa — the necessary Islamic edict — that green-lighted the 9/11 attacks.

    The Obama administration has offered to release Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman to Egypt.

  • michaelfury

    Wasn’t Urban Moving Systems based in New Jersey?


  • PETE

    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly should take over the FBI and teach them what good police work is. Holder is a ridiculous clown and nobody really knows where he came from and what his experience in police work is. He is really a bike rider, pushing down with his legs what is under him, and bowing his head to his bosses. I do not know in what garbage can Obama has found him and why he has given him this job which is out of his league. However, it does not mean that we have to listen to his crap and his very stupid attacks on Kelly.

  • Father mc

    Hey holder why does the NYPD have to do your job? Isn’t it because your a liberal?

  • Farmmer bill

    Hey muslims don’t try and kill Americans and we won’t spy on you

    • Jeff Sayin

      There are millions of Muslims in American and it is both irrational and without moral justication to target ALL Muslims.

      Also under that logic, as long as Americans kill Americans, NYPD should be able to go around the country spying on whatever American they want.

      You may prefer a police state without constituitonal rights, but I don’t.

  • James

    I never thought that Attorney General appointments could be as patheitic as the Bush White House (John Ashcroft anyone?) but this administration even outdid them for sheer incompetence in the person of one Eric Holder. Sad.

  • 2012

    Yea, I’m sure Ray Kelly and the NYPD are just shaking in their boots!

  • Linda

    This POS Holder has got a lot of nerve attacking Ray Kelly & NYPD when he & obummer let how many guns into Mexico to allow a Border Patrol Agent to be murdered, plus how many other people. The justice department, the FBI and the CIA are nothing but corrupt con men, they lie, cheat,frame innocent people and steal just to name a few things they are known for. They won’t do their job of securing our borders and making sure America is safe on all fronts but, will readily attack anyone else for doing so.

  • http://www.scottystarnes.com Scotty Starnes

    Holder is upset about surveillance on Muslims in NY but has no problem killing US citizens, without due process, via targeted assassination. The appeasement continues. Over 130 terror-related arrests and they all have one thing in common: religion. Who follows Islam? Who have been the ones arrested for attempting to kill Americans on American soil?

    • Azad

      Scotty boy….. answer to your 1st question is… more than 1.5 billion people follow islam. and, elements of the zionists entity have been the ones arrested for attempting to kill Americans on American soil. I suggest you take geopolitics 101. I wonder if anyone would be interested in teaching you that? Cause you seem to lack the basic intelligence. To gain little more intelligence, think outside the box and always try to see whats on the other side of the coin.

      • Steven from Brooklyn

        Azad boy………..Muslim men in the name of their dogshlt religion are killing people. You have fecal matter for a brain.

      • http://www.scottystarnes.com Scotty Starnes

        Anyone who reads your garbage sees your antisemitic hate. Also, please don’t attempt to spin the truth. Over 130 Muslims, in the past three years, have been arrested. No “Zionists” have been arrested for plotting terrorist attacks upon Americans on American soil.

        Nobody needs a geopolitical class to read the FBI reports that detail the 130 + arrests. To gain a little more intelligence, pull your head out of the sand and look at the facts…boy!

        • GetObamaOUT

          I think we should drop Azad out in Syria or Pakistan.. He’d probably be happier with all those animals there..

  • Bullett

    Want to know what I find disturbing Mr. Holder? When people like you and Governor Christie stand before a microphone and lambaste the NYPD for what they did, but you fail to mention who was responsible for 3K+ deaths on 9/11. Now that’s what I call turning your back on America and our flag.

    • Azad

      Bullett, No one cares what you call it. But, you are just a pure example of how the neocons and zionists talk.

      • GetObamaOUT

        neocon? sounds like whiney libtard talk. heh.
        Can’t wait till this fall when real change will happen.

        • Azad

          lol… and you are talking like a teabagger who makes statements which can’t be substatiated.

          • GetObamaOUT

            See this is why its not even worth debating with liberals.. personal jabs and all that fun immature stuff.. couldn’t get anywhere in having a real conversation with people of your type since you are so brainwashed…Luckily I could careless (especially since I’m a libertarian, not a tea partier) and I know that in the end, there are enough american’s outside of the major cities in america that are REAL RED BLOODED Americans who will make sure o’dumbo doesn’t get re-elected. :)

            • Jeff Sayin

              You have to be kidding – it is the standard MO on this comment board for the Obama hating crowd (which includes hating anyone in his admiinistration) to use insults to make their point without making any substantive point. Just insult after insult as you call yourself the REAL RED BLOODED American – what a joike.

      • Bullett

        Just be careful the next time you walk past a garbage can or abandoned vehicle.

    • GetObamaOUT

      Well said Bullett! Obama and his FED cronies.. At least the NYPD commissioner is trying his best to protect us.. They can’t even protect our borders, who are they to say anything??
      Kudos to you NYPD commissioner Kelly for fulfilling your patriotic duties to protect the citizens of your city.

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