De Blasio inherits big counterterror force — and New Yorkers fighting in Syria

by
December 29, 2013

NEW YORK — At a recent briefing in lower Manhattan, the New York Police Department gave an auditorium full of private security executives plenty to worry about.

One of the NYPD’s intelligence analysts warned that New Yorkers have gone to fight in the Syrian civil war and could come back radicalized against the West. A high-ranking officer described drills testing the NYPD’s ability to respond to a dirty bomb attack. And a detective offered a detailed analysis of the deadly siege at a shopping mall in Nairobi, brashly challenging the Kenyan government’s claim that the gunmen were dead.

The presentations demonstrated the nation’s largest police department’s determination to stay at the forefront of counterterrorism, even as the man who spearheaded the effort — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly — is headed out the door.

Kelly, whose 12-year tenure ends this month without a major successful terror attack on his watch, repeatedly has suggested that anyone considering remaking one of the defining initiatives of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration should proceed with caution.

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