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NYPD Counterterrorism Unit Thinks and Acts Globally

People expect big things from New York. The police department’s counterterrorism unit doesn’t disappoint with it’s global reach.

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek

In sweltering Mumbai last November, two days after the terrorist rampage that killed or wounded more than 500 people, some odd figures joined the alphabet soup of agencies investigating the atrocity-three New York City police detectives. In 2005 other American cops looked at bomb detonators with Scotland Yard after the London tube bombings. Still others turned up in Madrid after its own train attacks in 2004, and several times in Jerusalem after suicide bombings there.
The cops showed up because David Cohen, the spymaster of the NYPD, sent them.
A former director of clandestine operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, Cohen wants his own people seeing up close and right away the warning signs-he calls them signatures-that might have revealed a terrorist operation taking shape.
And if the FBI, the CIA or any other federal agency objects to the NYPD making the world its beat, Cohen doesn’t really care.
“Listen to this,” he told me one morning at his office at police headquarters in downtown Manhattan. “We got a report from the FBI on the Madrid bombing which was terrific, it was great … It was f—ing 18 months later!” He drank from a mug with the eagle-and compass seal of the CIA on it. “They tried the best they could.”

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