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NYPD to unveil terrorist tracking system, Commissioner Kelly says

The New York Police Department will officially unveil its sophisticated surveillance system to track criminals and potential terrorists as soon as next week, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Saturday.

Kelly said the city developed the software with Microsoft, The Associated Press reported.

Kelly said the "domestic awareness system" combines citywide video surveillance with law enforcement databases.


He said the tracking system will be officially unveiled by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as soon as next week. Kelly spoke Saturday before an audience at the Aspen Security Forum.

Keith Bedford / Reuters file

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is shown at a July 20 news conference.

NYPD officials in New York told NBC News Saturday evening they had no information about Kelly's comments.

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The NYPD has been under fire for surveillance of Muslim communities and partnering with the CIA to track potential terrorism suspects. Muslim groups have sued to shut down the NYPD programs.

Kelly defended the policies as key to thwarting 14 terrorist plots against the city since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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The NYPD has been reported to have been working on a domain awareness system for years. A 2009 NYPD counterterrorism document describing the system's use says:

The Domain Awareness System is a counterterrorism tool designed to:

  • Facilitate the observation of pre-operational activity by terrorist organizations or their agents
  • Aid in the detection of preparations to conduct terrorist attacks
  • Deter terrorist attacks
  • Provide a degree of common domain awareness for all Stakeholders
  • Reduce incident response times
  • Create a common technological infrastructure to support the integration of new security technology.

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