I didn’t know N.Y.P.D could not only go across the country doing intelligence gathering, but into different countries too.

For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews.

From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show.

They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms.

From these operations, run by the department’s “R.N.C. Intelligence Squad,� the police identified a handful of groups and individuals who expressed interest in creating havoc during the convention, as well as some who used Web sites to urge or predict violence.

So they found out a lot, right? Got some good intelligence that stopped a terrorist attack or some potentially serious crimes?

Click over to find out.

  • bob in fl

    More importantly, they prevented many lawful, peaceful protesters from excercising their rights to protest. So what else is new

    And the quote about “no one was hurt’ or something like that. Horsehockey. Will ew have a Constitution left by 08?

  • The only disturbing part of the article relates to times when the NYPD went a little too far in preventing people from protesting, like the bike sign guy. However, given the fact that NYC is still one of the biggest targets for al Qaeda, it is essential that it has a robust intelligence service. After all, last time NYC relied too heavily on the federal government for protection and ended up with almost 3000 New yorkers dead. The system needs a few fixes here and there, a few more safeguards but overall seems like a necessary one.