Friday, August 10, 2007

NYPD TERROR ADVISOR SUED BY MUSLIM GROUP

By Art Moore for WorldNetDaily.com:

A Muslim analyst for the New York City Police Department is suing the city for workplace harassment, alleging he was subject to a regular stream of "anti-Islamic" messages from an e-mail list run by a former adviser who trained detectives in counter-terrorism. The contracted adviser, retired 21-year CIA veteran Bruce Tefft, is also a defendant in the suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan last December.

But Tefft—a founder of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Unit—told WND he believes the analyst, who is not named in court papers, has no case against him. Tefft, noting the suit so far has cost him $50,000 in legal fees, cites First Amendment protections and argues NYPD personnel signed up for his e-mail list at their own will and were completely free to unsubscribe at any time.

He also points out his employer at the time, the private intelligence firm Orion Scientific Systems, covered his entire salary and expenses, effectively donating his services to the NYPD.

A hearing is scheduled for next month on a motion to dismiss the case.

Tefft continues to send out about 50 to 60 e-mails a day comprised mostly of unclassified material and news reports from around the world related to terrorism and Islam. In a fraction of those dispatches he adds his own comments, some of which became a focus of the complaint.

"This is a global war we are in," Tefft said, explaining the relevance of the e-mailed reports to domestic officials. "The enemy is a global enemy. Jihadists are all over the world. So whatever goes on around the world has value here."

The suit by the Egyptian-born analyst – who filed as "John Doe Anti-Terrorism Officer" because he works undercover in the Cyber Unit – says the e-mails "ridiculed and disparaged the Muslim religion and Arab people, and stated that Muslim- and Arab-Americans were untrustworthy and could not reliably serve in law enforcement positions or handle sensitive data."

He also claims he was subject to disparaging remarks by NYPD personnel and that on one occasion, Muslim and Arab-American employees of the intelligence unit were asked to leave the room after giving a presentation, while other employees were allowed to stay, according to the New York Observer.

The suit contends that despite the analyst's repeated complaints to supervisors about Tefft's e-mail distribution over a period of three years, the city "failed to do anything to stop it."

"Tefft's hate-filled and humiliating email briefings were distributed to virtually all City employees who worked in the NYPD's Intelligence Division, including the highest-ranking members of that division and Plaintiff's supervisors," says the complaint.

The Muslim analyst's lawyer, Ilann Maazel, was not available for comment.

The analyst, a former prison guard at the city's Rikers Island jail, has been assigned since 1998 to the NYPD's Intelligence Division, where he helped form the Cyber Unit in 2002, Maazel told the New York Times in December. The members scan the Internet to monitor potential threats, and Maazel said the analyst's family in Egypt could be harmed if the nature of his work were revealed.

Not a sentimentalist...

According to the suit, Tefft's personal notes on the e-mails included comments such as "a good Muslim … can't be a good American," "Burning the hate-filled Koran should be viewed as a public service at the least," and "This is not a war against terrorism ... it is against Islam and we are not winning."

On one article headlined "1 in 4 Hold Anti-Muslim Views," Tefft added, "Then 1 in 4 is well-informed." On another one titled, "Has U.S. threatened to vaporize Mecca?" he commented, "Excellent idea, if true."

Tefft, who spent 17 of his 21 years in clandestine services stationed overseas, including hot spots such as Mogadishu and Angola, makes no apologies for his views. "I won't dispute what I was saying; I could justify what I said about Islam," he told WND.

Tefft believes the threat of Islam to the U.S. is so serious he has no time to mince words. "I'm not a sentimentalist, and I'm not hate-filled either," he said. "Hate is an emotion. I don't feel emotional about it at all. I feel analytical and logical."

Tefft insists there clearly is a link between fundamental Islam and terror. "There is nothing un-Islamic about Osama bin Laden," he said of the al-Qaida leader. "If there were, he would have been declared apostate, non Islamic."

Maazel, in a December interview with the New York Times, called the e-mails "racist," but Tefft says that is absurd. "I don't consider Islam a race," he said. "So to call me racist is ridiculous. I have good friends who are Egyptian officials. I've worked all over the world."

Islam, he maintains, should be regarded as a political ideology bent on world conquest....

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