By Tom Winter, NBC News
A day before New York City’s mayoral primary and two days before the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, New York’s top cop said none of the mayoral candidates have asked him or the NYPD’s experts a single question about terrorism.
“The threat of terrorism is great, if not greater, today that it was before the World Trade Center was destroyed,” said Commissioner Ray Kelly in a speech Monday morning. “Yet I can tell you that none of the candidates has requested a briefing from the Police Department on this topic.”
Speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Association for a Better New York and the Council on Foreign Relations, Kelly listed a number of disrupted terror plots that he said “demonstrate our enemies enduring obsession with New York,” and said “there are few questions more important than what the next mayor will do to protect the city.”
“What do the candidates have to say?” asked Kelly. “We simply don’t know.”
But a spokesman for New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, currently leading the polls for Tuesday’s Democratic primary, said that de Blasio’s office requested a terror briefing from the NYPD on August 29.
“Bill de Blasio believes there is nothing more important than protecting New York City from the threat of terror and keeping New Yorkers safe,” said Wiley Norvell, press secretary for the public advocate’s office. “After the President’s remarks on Syria, the office requested a briefing from the NYPD on the city’s counter-terror efforts and is working with City Hall to schedule it.”
Asked if he could provide a copy of an email requesting the meeting, Norvell said he did not have anything that was “appropriate to share.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's deputy press secretary, Kamran Mumtaz, said that the Public Advocate's office made a request "specific to steps the Police Department was taking after the President's Syria announcement -- and they were given a reply. Today, following Police Commissioner Kelly's speech, they asked for a broader briefing on the Department's counter-terrorism efforts. We are working with the NYPD to arrange that."
A representative of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, currently third in polling for Tuesday’s Democratic primary, said that Quinn had “fairly regular communication with the NYPD,” adding that members of her staff spoke with the NYPD before a public policy speech she gave in April in which she discussed terror.
Representatives of Democratic candidates Bill Thompson and Anthony Weiner and Republican candidates Joe Lhota and John Castimatidis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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First published September 9 2013, 10:03 AM