Monday, September 20, 2010

NYPDs Counterterrorism Analytic Unit

Inspire magazine, an English-language journal published by Al Qaeda, included in its summer edition what amounted to a “Friends and Foes” list. There, on Page 4, following the letter from the editor (“We survive through jihad and perish without it”), were pictures of, and quotations from, kindred spirits like Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty in a plot to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, and, perhaps surprisingly, David Letterman, who was praised for recent criticism of former President George W. Bush. Among the magazine’s “foes” were Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France; and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Then there was Mitchell D. Silber, a studious and mild-mannered former financier who grew up in Atlantic Beach, N.Y.

Mr. Silber (“I guess I was flattered in a strange way”) may seem an unlikely choice to occupy that space with a terrorist, a television star, a cabinet secretary, a European head of state and an Arab potentate. He is not, after all, a boldface name. Rather, he is a 40-year-old father with a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University who says his main hobby is reading deeply on the Middle East. What landed Mr. Silber on that list was his leadership of a little-known counterterrorism team deep within the crime-fighting structure of the New York Police Department.

Formally known as the Analytic Unit of the department’s Intelligence Division
, the team was created in 2002 as part of the city’s response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It stands as a unique experiment in breaking traditional law-enforcement boundaries, comprising two dozen civilian experts — lawyers, academics, corporate consultants, investment bankers, alumni of the World Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations and even a former employee of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan. The team serves as the Police Department’s terrorism reference arm: available on demand to explain Islamic law or Pakistani politics to detectives in the field.



Search This Blog

Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP