After 9/11, the New York Police Department in its manifest wisdom decided to start pretending that it was a global intelligence agency staffed by stealthy Jason Bourne types. In pursuit of its goal of spying on all Muslims, everywhere, New York's finest even crossed the Hudson River to New Brunswick, New Jersey, to establish a secret surveillance outpost because seriously there are Muslims literally everywhere. That little operation was foiled in 2009, though, when a super named Salil Sheth happened upon an apartment filled with surveillance equipment and Muslim literature and called 911 because he thought he'd stumbled upon a terror cell. The AP has just obtained the audio of the call.
The AP's Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo first reported on the bizarre incident last August. For reasons that remain unclear, the NYPD rented an apartment under a fake name near Rutgers University and established a "command center" there without bothering to notify anyone in New Jersey. When Sheth opened up the unit to conduct a state-mandated inspection, he freaked out and called the cops.
"[T]he apartment has about — has no furniture except two beds, has no clothing, has New York City Police Department radios," Sheth told a dispatcher. "There's computer hardware, software, you know, just laying around. There's pictures of terrorists. There's pictures of our neighboring building that they have."
The local cops called in the FBI, and the NYPD had to sheepishly explain that it was freelancing outside of its jurisdiction and ask for its stuff back.
The AP has been trying ever since to get a hold of the audio of the 911 call, but New Jersey officials—under pressure from New York City—have resisted, forcing the AP to sue under New Jerseys' open records laws.