How the CIA and NYPD Infiltrated and Spied on Muslim Communities

The Associated Press has more on its investigation into the secret infiltration of Muslim communities by the NYPD, through programs created for them by the CIA.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NYPD has become one of the country's most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies. A months-long investigation by The Associated Press has revealed that the NYPD operates far outside its borders and targets ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government. And it does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying.

There are some details of a secret human mapping program: [More...]

They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as "mosque crawlers," to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. NYPD officials have scrutinized imams and gathered intelligence on cab drivers and food cart vendors, jobs often done by Muslims.

The CIA, which is not allowed to spy on Americans, created the program for the NYPD, and trained NYPD officers at its spy school in Virginia.

And just last month, the CIA sent a senior officer to work as a clandestine operative inside police headquarters.

The NYPD is denying it has a "demographic unit."

Using census data, the department matched undercover officers to ethnic communities and instructed them to blend in, the officials said. Pakistani-American officers infiltrated Pakistani neighborhoods, Palestinians focused on Palestinian neighborhoods. They hung out in hookah bars and cafes, quietly observing the community around them.

Supposedly, the city council and federal government were not informed of the program, even though the council finances the NYPD and the feds shell out millions of dollars to local law enforcement every year. Here's the website for the NYPD Intelligence Division and Counter-Terrorism Bureau.

"Rakers" (undercover law enforcement officers) and "Mosque crawlers" (confidential informants)-- what's next?

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  • Display: Sort:
    not really a surprise, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 03:43:02 PM EST
    except that the FBI wasn't in on it as well. just a page from the nixon handbook.

    Speechless (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 04:00:00 PM EST
    The CIA has finally figured out a work around to spying domestically, and what a great one it is, they control the program and NYC pays the tab, brilliant.

    I wonder what New Jersey has to say about the CIA's new branch of NYPD officers in their neighborhoods spying on their residents, all without any over sight.

    In New Brunswick, N.J., a building superintendent opened the door to apartment No. 1076 one balmy Tuesday and discovered an alarming scene: terrorist literature strewn about the table and computer and surveillance equipment set up in the next room.

    The panicked superintendent dialed 911, sending police and the FBI rushing to the building near Rutgers University on the afternoon of June 2, 2009. What they found in that first-floor apartment, however, was not a terrorist hideout but a command center set up by a secret team of New York Police Department intelligence officers.

    More Here.

    "terrorist literature strewn about..." (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 12:32:20 AM EST
    i.e., the justice department's secret interpretation of the patriot act

    I heard a very cheery report on this (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 03:53:17 PM EST
    subject on NPR this week.
    "Liberal" radio for the latte fascist crowd.

    I'll catch hell for this (none / 0) (#7)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 06:30:20 AM EST
    but I am not really upset at this story.  It will all settle out in the long run when the courts get a hold of the issue through law suites and criminal cases.
    Several years ago there was some imam in NYC stating how much joy he felt at some large American casualty count in Iraq.  He raged on about American imperialism etc...
    He was the perfect example of someone who should be spied on.  We know we have a problem with radicalization of Muslims in the U.S. as well as around the world.  It really is a war with rules that can not be defined.  Terrorism?  Who knew 50 years ago that this is the way we would be defending ourselves and the world.  Who knew that people could come in to the country, train to fly planes but not to land them?  How could we know that armed with nothing more than box cutters and fake bombs they could force planes in to buildings and murder thousands?
    I have enough faith in our justice system and legislature to believe that the issues we have with this law enforcement behavior will all get answered.  We must be pro-active in this "war" and not reactive.  

    I don't totatlly disagree with you (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 07:30:25 AM EST
    The problem is, there's a very fine line between legal and illegal behavior when it comes to civil liberty infringements.

    I can't imagine any serious or thinking person would say we should have absolutely no spying, no capability to track terrorists until something happens, and then treat that as a crime and go after them. That would be a ridiculous and harmful position to take.  But how many innocent people get caught up in this and possibly falsely accused?  I don't know what the answer is and I don't think anybody does, including the courts. And in the end - someone's gonna be ticked.


    What did they DO? (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 11:14:26 PM EST
    "But how many innocent people get caught up in this and possibly falsely accused?"

    That is the question.

    WSWS on CIA spying operation in New York (none / 0) (#10)
    by Andreas on Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 06:11:48 AM EST