Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of outrage and denial when he claimed “thousands and thousands” of Muslims were seen in New Jersey on the rooftops cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop held a press conference flanked by leaders of CAIR during which religious and political leaders denounced Donald Trump, saying there was no record of Muslim celebrations in Jersey City on 9/11.
In a new examination by NJ Advance Media, “a police officer who worked on 9/11 and residents on the outskirts of Journal Square say they witnessed small pockets of people celebrating before the groups dispersed or were broken up by authorities.
The NJ Advance Media inquiry, encompassing more than two dozen interviews conducted since Nov. 25, found Trump’s broad assertion that thousands of people cheered to be baseless. At the same time, the inquiry provides the first credible indication of at least two modest celebrations, as described by on-the-record sources who say they witnessed the behavior.
• A retired police captain, Peter Gallagher, said he cleared a rooftop celebration of 20 to 30 people at 6 Tonnele Ave., a four-story apartment building with an unobstructed view of Lower Manhattan, in the hours after the second tower fell.
“Some men were dancing, some held kids on their shoulders,” said Gallagher, then a sergeant. “The women were shouting in Arabic and keening in the high-pitched wail of Arabic fashion. They were told to go back to their apartments since a crowd of non-Muslims was gathering on the sidewalk below and we feared for their safety.”
FBI agents took several residents of the building into custody days later, according to neighbors and an account in The Star-Ledger. It is unclear why they were detained.
• Knight was one of two Tonnele Avenue residents who said they witnessed a crowd celebrating on John F. Kennedy Boulevard not far from Masjid Al-Salam, the mosque where Omar Abdel-Rahman, known as the “blind sheikh,” preached before the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Carlos Ferran, 60, who lives in the same building as Knight, said he was on his way to a liquor store to buy beer when he came across the gathering on the sidewalk.
“Some of them had their hands in the air,” Ferran said. “They were happy.”
• Numerous people called police to report an exultant crowd on the roof of 2801 John F. Kennedy Blvd., a distinctive, five-story apartment building at the intersection of Sip Avenue, said retired officer Arthur Teeter, who worked in the radio room at police headquarters on Sept. 11.
Officers were dispatched to the address at least twice but were delayed getting inside because the front door was locked, said another retired officer, Bruce Dzamba.”By the time I got to the roof, no one was there,” Dzamba said.
• Three additional officers who remain on the Jersey City force said they witnessed small groups of Muslim celebrants on Sept. 11, but they would not speak for attribution, citing a department policy that prohibits media interviews.
The officers, including a high-ranking official, said their reluctance to speak publicly also stemmed from concern they would run afoul of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who has repeatedly said celebrations did not take place.”
Of course that’s what he’s going to say. Denial. Denial. Denial. It’s not politically correct to speak the truth. The Islamic State is not Islamic. Terror attacks are “workplace violence.” Islamic jihadists are just “extremists.” In the West we turn ourselves into pretzels to avoid saying something that will hurt people’s feelings.
What I find most alarming isn’t Donald Trump’s exaggerations or even the fact that some Muslims were celebrating the attack on U.S. soil.
What is most alarming to me is the extent to which the actual truth of the celebrations had to be completely covered up. Why didn’t CAIR stand up at the time and say we deplore the fact that some in this nation would celebrate such a tragedy? Well of course we all know the answer to that question…
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]