I never heard this story before, but it's funny. Reporter Leonard Levitt, who's been chasing down the NYPD surveillance scandal, has come up with a document that confirms what he says is an old story: back in 2004, Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman got a NY Police Department Intelligence Division tail-- three officers assigned to follow him-- because "people were following him."
Terrorists, evidently. Levitt:
[Zuckerman's friend] NYPD Intelligence Division’s Deputy Commissioner David Cohen.. Cohen had Intelligence Division detectives tail the folks tailing Zuckerman.
Recently, NYPD Confidential obtained a document confirming this police favor to the billionaire publisher...
Zuckerman’s spokeswoman at the time justified the NYPD surveillance by suggesting that terrorists may have been following Mort, given his outspoken support for Israel....
As it turned out, Zuckerman’s pursuers had no connection to terrorism. They were two retired NYPD detectives, working for a local interest that has never been disclosed.
Police sources at the time offered two theories as to the identity of that interest: either a rival businessman or Zuckerman’s ex-wife, who was in the midst of her divorce from him.
Zuckerman did not return a call to his home, seeking comment.
(thanks to Justin Elliott's twitter feed):