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Sorry, NYPD, You Haven't Stopped 14 Terror Attacks

ProPublica: Mayor, police chief are exaggerating
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 7:05 PM CDT
Sorry, NYPD, You Haven't Stopped 14 Terror Attacks
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly speaks at a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

Since 9/11, the NYPD has stopped 14 terror attacks, right? It must be true because Mayor Bloomberg and police chief Ray Kelly keeping trumpeting the stat, and the media keep circulating it. (Like in this profile.) ProPublica took a look at the NYPD's own list of the 14 to test the accuracy of the claim. "Is it true? In a word, no," writes Justin Elliott. The boast "overstates both the number of serious, developed terrorist plots against New York and exaggerates the NYPD's role in stopping attacks."

Of the 14, ProPublica says two, maybe three, qualify as true terror threats. And that includes "a failed attempt to bomb Times Square by a Pakistani-American in 2010 that the NYPD did not stop." What's more, the NYPD doesn't seem to have played a big role in most of the busts. "In several cases, it played no role at all." See the full article and a breakdown of the 14 cases here. (Asked about the story today, Bloomberg responded: “I could make as cogent an argument there’s double or triple the number that were stopped. We just don’t know about it." More on that here.)

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