NEW YORK (Reuters) - A detailed 1998 New York Police Department analysis opposed the city’s plans to locate its emergency command center at the World Trade Center but then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration overrode the objections, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
“Seven World Trade Center is a poor choice for the site of a crucial command center for the top leadership of the City of New York,” the Times quoted a panel of police experts aided by the Secret Service as having concluded in a confidential Police Department memorandum which has not been previously disclosed.
The longest of the analysis’ nine sections, headed “Explosives,” describes a blast analysis of the likely impact of various types of bombs, and concluded that the largest of truck bombs would have led to the building’s collapse, the Times report said.
The command center was destroyed during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center that also destroyed the twin towers in the seven-building complex.
Among the location’s vulnerabilities was its history as a target, the report said. One of the World Trade Center’s twin towers was attacked by truck bomb in 1993 that killed 6 people and injured more than 1,000.
Giuliani, currently campaigning in Florida for the Republican presidential nomination, has acknowledged some skepticism by the police about the choice, but characterized it as a dispute between government officials and departments, the Times said.
“This group’s finding is that the security of the proposed O.E.M. Command Center cannot be reasonably guaranteed,” the July 1998 memo to the city’s police commissioner concluded.
The Times said it obtained the document from a law enforcement official who it noted was not affiliated with any rival political campaign.
The memorandum was provided to The New York Times by a law enforcement official not affiliated with a rival political campaign.
Giuliani’s campaign declined to answer questions about the memo but spokeswoman Maria Comella said the former mayor’s administration had considered 50 different sites and examined varying factors before choosing the site. “This is one memo out of a variety of memos that were presented,” she told the Times.
Reporting by Chris Michaud, editing by Jackie Frank