NEW YORK— Former NYPD Commissioner, Raymond Kelly--now Vice Chair at K2 Intelligence in Manhattan--watched the terror events in Brussels with keen interest last week. A former board member of the international police group, Interpol, Kelly wondered why more terror suspects weren't picked up in Belgium, after the orchestrated November 13th attacks in Paris at a soccer stadium, cafes, and concert hall.
"They had four months to find these individuals after the November 13th attack; they didn't do it," Kelly said. "It turns out they're all living in the same neighborhood! Thy should have been able to identify these people in a four month period of time."
The suicide bombings at Brussels international airport and a metro killed 35 people, four of them Americans. More than 300 were injured. Kelly isn't sure the Belgian government wants assistance from outsiders.
"The city is somewhat dysfunctional," Kelly said of Brussels. "It's a conglomeration of nine, smaller cities. It's a country, and a city, that's divided by language."
Kelly noted people in Brussels either speak Flemish, French, or German.
"That means the police inside the police force don't necessarily talk the same language," Kelly said.
Kelly wrote a recent book called "Vigilance," about his career in law enforcement. In it, he addressed the NYPD's controversial "Demographics Unit," which dispatched officers to various neighborhoods in the city.
The NYPD ended up getting sued by Muslim groups who charged the police were spying in mosques and restaurants. Kelly disputed that notion and said police were simply trying to find out who was living in what areas of New York City--and wanted to know what their dialects were.
Europe has seen an escalation in terror attacks in nations like Turkey, France and Belgium. Ray Kelly said he doesn't know what the current NYPD administration is doing in its counter-terrorism efforts, but he knows what has usually worked.
"I think here in New York, the traditional methods--working with the FBI, using informants--that sort of thing has been effective."