NYPD Snoop Declares Zuccotti Park A “Soft Target” for Terrorists: Really?
November 21, 2011 |
Photo Credit: Nick Turse
The Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park was many things to many people. For some, it was the dawning of a new age, to others a throwback to an earlier one. Before the mini-society was destroyed by city authorities last week, some looked at it and saw petty crime, pathogens and pathos, while for others it offered a rare glimmer of hope for a future based on economic justice, mutual aid and greater equality.
What activists inside the park saw as the nucleus of a new society, the New York City Police Department saw as a prime target for terrorists, according to a plainclothes policeman. The white surveillance truck at the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway, the many security cameras aimed at the plaza and the massive police response --including dozens of NYPD vehicles -- he and his partner claimed, were not there to police protesters, but to thwart an attack on the park by armed militants.
Just hours before NYPD officers raided Zuccotti Park, rousted the occupiers and destroyed their encampment, I had a run-in with these plainclothesmen and listened as they spun their tale.
In the days since, reports of a terror plot to attack police and military targets in New York City surfaced. If these allegations, as well as those by the plainclothes officers, are actually true, they suggest the NYPD may have put protesters at increased risk of a terrorist attack.