In Philadelphia, Chief Inspector of Police Alleges that City's Mosques are Haven for Terrorists

September 2, 2005

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

On September 2, 2005 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, "The head of the Philadelphia Police Department's counterterrorism unit is standing by his assertion that the city is a hideout for terrorists. His boss, Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson, apologized for him and contradicted him during a lunch yesterday with bemused and offended Arab Americans and Muslims at the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the edge of Northern Liberties. But Chief Inspector Joseph E. O'Connor would not take back the comment he made after the London transit bombings that Philadelphia is 'notorious for fund-raising and recruitment' by terrorist organizations... When pressed, he could not provide any details to back up his assertion that the city is a terrorist haven. Johnson, sitting beside O'Connor at a lunch intended to mend fences at the Germantown Avenue mosque, jumped in to say that O'Connor's position is not that of the Philadelphia Police Department... 'Our purpose was not to dwell' on O'Connor's comment, Kreidie said. 'Our purpose was to work together with the Police Department. I still disagree with him. So does the FBI, so does the Police Department.'"