NJ FBI official says NYPD monitoring of Muslims caused ‘risks’ in terror investigations

NEWARK, N.J. — In a rare public criticism of the New York Police Department, the top FBI official in New Jersey said Wednesday that the department’s surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created “additional risks” in counterterrorism.

The monitoring of Muslims in Newark and across the state has damaged the public’s trust in New Jersey law enforcement and jeopardized some of the relationships agents had sought to build in the community since 9/11, said Michael Ward, agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne responded Wednesday by pointing to several cases worked in conjunction with New Jersey law enforcement, such as the June arrests of Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, who admitted to planning to travel to Somalia to get training with a group with ties to al-Qaida.