On April 14, 1972, at 1142 hours, a call for “officer in distress” came in from a person claiming to be “Detective Thomas” at the Muhammed Mosque #7, 102 West 116th Street, New York.
Responding police officers were pushed out of the mosque by muslim men, and the doors were locked. Two officers remained trapped inside on the ground level and were attacked by over 16 men who overpowered them, forced them to the ground, and took their weapons. Officer Phillip Cardillo was shot one time and mortally wounded. The other officer was knocked unconscious, and his weapons were never found. As other police officers tried to make entry into the locked mosque, they looked thru the window and saw both officers laying prone while two large groups of muslim men beat and kicked the officers.
Here are the facts:
- A year after the shooting, a secret internal parallel NYPD investigation was conducted. The “Report and Analysis of the Muslim Mosque Incident of April 14, 1972” was referred to as the “Blue Book.”
- The mosque doors, usually bolted shut and manned by muslims at the mosque, were unlocked and unguarded until responding police officers were inside, at which time they were locked.
- Some of the men involved in the attack ran into the basement, where they were frisked and detained. According to the Blue Book, they “refused to answer questions and refused to identify themselves.”
- Reports from officers stated “the situation in the street deteriorated … to the point of potential riot” because officers were inside the mosque.
- During the investigation immediately after the shooting/attack, mosque leader Louis Farrakhan and U.S. Congressman Charlie Rangel worked a deal with the NYPD commanding officers. Police agreed to leave the mosque, leaving behind the crime scene, blood, and ballistics evidence, and 16 suspects while Farrakhan and Rangel promised to deliver the suspects to a local police station that afternoon. Suspects were not delivered, and the murder weapon was never found.
- Lewis Dupree was eventually arrested for Officer Cardillo’s murder. However, the lack of evidence hindered the prosecution. Dupree’s first trial resulted in a hung jury. In a second trial, Dupree, who now uses the name Khalid Elamin Ali, was acquitted. The lead prosecutor in both trials never saw the Blue Book which contained leads, witness names, and ballistics reports.
- An FBI report revealed the Bureau refused to give NYPD access to FBI informants who might have knowledge of this matter saying that doing so might, “adversely affect the national defense interest of the U.S.”
- The mayor and police commissioner did not attend Officer Phil Cardillo’s funeral. This was a sad day when a cop killed in the line of duty protecting New York City did not have the support of his commanding officers.
This incident raises serious questions which have never been answered:
- Why did someone from the mosque ambush a police officer? Who lured police to the second floor of the mosque? Who ordered the guards off the doors of the mosque and left them unlocked and unguarded? Was it someone with knowledge of police procedure?
- Does the FBI have any information pertaining to the shooting of Officer Cardillo?”
- Did the upper ranks of the New York Police Department, FBI, a U.S. representative, and members of the Islamic community work together to impede the murder investigation of a NYPD police officer?
- Why were detectives on the initial investigation not aware of the Blue Book? Why did NYPD conduct a parallel investigation?
Over 40 years later, some things remain the same. Members of Congress are still protecting criminals and jihadis in our communities, and some even advocate for the jihadis. Police are not allowed to be aggressive and harsh in their pursuit of jihadis which emboldens and encourages the jihadis to fight harder as the years go on—per sharia law.
An attempt to name a small street in Harlem after Officer Cardillo was halted in 2013 when the local community board ruled the police must first get permission from two local mosques to do so, including the mosque where Officer Cardillo was shot. In an angry letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Cardillo’s son, Todd, called the decision “a slap in the face to me and my family.”
The failure of local, state, and federal leaders to understand the threat and aggressively go after that threat cost lives. It cost lives of our military in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it did in New York in April of 1972.
About the Author
John Guandolo is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat. He is the President and Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT).