Sure, the show wasn't focused on Atlantic Yards, but there are concerns about terrorism at the planned project. AY critics have questioned how much preparation there has been to protect against terrorism; indeed, the Empire State Development Corporation, in its response to the AY environmental lawsuit, has acknowledged that a review has been conducted, but has been unwilling to make details available.
"New York City has been repeatedly cased by terrorist operatives," said Richard Falkenrath, NYPD deputy commissioner for counter terrorism, explaining that that the police regularly aim to "harden" potential targets to protect against terrorism.
The AY connection
During the listener call-in segment of the show, at about 33:30, Brooklynite Alan Rosner, co-author of a July 2005 white paper on terrorism and AY, was on the line, identified as "Alan from Brooklyn."
Rosner: Right now, there's a large Middle Eastern community along Atlantic Avenue near Flatbush. Back in 1997, two Palestinians came within hours of bombing the Atlantic Avenue station. Now, with the Atlantic Yards development project, that would be the densest area in all of the United States, with these terrorist targets. Do you think this going to have an impact as the police focus more and more on this area?
Louis seemed eager to skip past the specifics.
Louis: Thank you for the call. I do think there's going to be--I think if you heard the whole interview, you could sort of sense me trying to pull out of the deputy commissioner... what exactly the NYPD is going to do with this report. Unfortunately, I think it's going to be one of these questions where we have to leave it as, 'we'll see.' The report is not going to be dropped on the desk of every precinct and used as an operational guideline, that it's just a piece of research to try to help people understand all of this. If everyone does their job the right way, the public will stay alert, the press will stay skeptical, the police will try to keep us safe as well as remain mindful of civil liberties concerns. And we're going to have to leave it there for right now.
Let's acknowledge that the subject of the show was a report about a population, not a close look at potential targets, and that Louis was running out of time. But you didn't get a sense that Louis, who described himself at one point as "someone who has to follow the news for a living," wants to focus on the AY angle.