NBC looks into the NYPD’s practice of placing detectives trained as counter-terrorism experts in big city police departments across the globe to foster a coordinated response to the threat of violence from groups such as ISIS. Since 9/11, the NYPD has embedded intelligence officers in 13 locations, including London, Paris, Jerusalem, Amman, Madrid, Toronto and Sydney. It is part of a growing effort to exchange threat information with international partners in real time. “We need to be positioned 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, all around the globe to react in New York City in real time,” said John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence. Miller points out that New York has seen 20 terror plots since 9/11, and that numerous overseas attacks were carried out by suspects who had possible New York connections.
Thomas Galati, the NYPD’s chief of intelligence, said cooperation helps the police partners to better plan reactions to plots and threats. After briefings from French officials, Galati said, NYPD exercises mirroring last year’s attacks in France showed the NYPD needed more trained counter-terror teams in case of a multipronged attack. “We drilled it ourselves in a tabletop [exercise] and we ran out of emergency service personnel after a certain amount of time,” Galati said. “So we needed to bolster up our response.” The NYPD’s London liaison, who works most days inside Scotland Yard, said the threat from ISIS fighters returning to Europe is growing in Britain and the United States. “The Atlantic is no longer the barrier it once was,” the detective said. “By working together, we have a much better chance of mitigating the threat.”