On Friday April 21, 2017, the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School held the 142nd CityLaw Breakfast. The event speaker was New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism John Miller. Commissioner Miller was welcomed by Anthony Crowell, President and Dean of New York Law School and introduced by Ross Sandler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for New York City Law.
Commissioner Miller began by discussing his now infamous interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1998 as a senior correspondent for CBS News. Miller focused his discussion on the globalization of terrorism that has occurred since that interview. He remarked that while globalization has so many positive attributes, including connecting people and countries, it has also been a leading driver in the success of terrorism today. In response, the NYPD must now react to an attack in Paris the same way as an attack in New York City. This has lead to a liaison program that the NYPD has with major cities around the globe.
Miller did note that the NYPD has prevented or stopped 21 attacks in New York City between 9/11 and last year’s Chelsea bomber. He attributed that attack and others, like the Pulse Nightclub shooter, to a change in tactic from ISIS recruiters. ISIS, which has already had tremendous success with its mass marketing efforts and social media outreach, has changed its message from “come to Syria and Iraq” to “fight where you are” for more effect. Commissioner Miller admitted that collaboration with ISPs and social media providers is an ongoing but imperfect effort to counter terrorism.
During a question and answer period, the Deputy Commissioner did comment on the proposed travel ban, calling it confusing because it didn’t seem to add to the vetting process, instead just making the process take longer. He did state that the NYPD has had to double its outreach efforts to the immigrant community because of the ban. The ban and immigration actions taken recently have in effect made it more difficult to garner counter-terrorism intelligence due to fear of retaliation or deportation.
To watch a recording of the speech, click here or click the video below.