Former New York police chief Ray Kelly has blasted the city’s mayor Bill De Blasio suggesting he is too politically correct to be tough on terror.
The ex-police commissioner has been praising officers for their hard work in apprehending Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspected Chelsea and New Jersey bomber.
They arrested the 28-year-old following a city-wide manhunt and a shootout at a bar in Linden, New Jersey.
But despite Rahami now being in custody, Kelly has blasted his old rival De Blasio, for playing down the possibility of the bombs being terrorism in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
He told The Daily Beast: ‘They always have these elected people who want to downplay the potential threat. But it is De Blasio’s watch, so now he wants to.’
Asked if he believed city officials had been too ‘politically correct’ in dealing with the situation, he added: ‘I think we’ve been that way for a while.’
However, it is not the first time that Kelly, the city’s longest serving police commissioner, has criticised the New York mayor.
In 2013, he accused De Blasio, who at the time was running for office of stabbing him in the back over his stop and frisk policy.
The NYPD had come under scrutiny for its ‘stop and frisk’ policy, which several minority groups contended was an unlawful discriminatory practice.
One of the planks of De Blasio’s campaign, for which he was elected, was to promote the end of stop and frisk which he called a violation of civil rights.
Meanwhile in 2014, De Blasio’s then police commissioner Bill Bratton disbanded the NYPD’s Demographics Unit, which Kelly created in 2003 in the aftermath of 9/11.
Its role was to seek out potential terrorists by infiltrating Muslim student groups, putting informants in mosques and sending operatives into Muslim businesses to listen to conversation.
The tactics, when revealed, left many in the Muslim community feeling distrustful of the police.
But since the latest attacks on New York, Kelly told the Daily Beast the decision to disband the unit was ‘dumb, quite frankly.’
Kelly’s comments come as Rahami’s father Mohammad Rahami Sr, said he warned authorities two years ago that his son had become violent.
He said that he had called the FBI and informed them that he feared the 28-year-old was becoming radicalised.
Investigators are currently looking into whether the 28-year-old was working alone or perhaps with others when he planted the bombs which were discovered over the weekend.