“As a former police sergeant who worked with the squad said: ‘We are there to collect intelligence about criminal activity or terrorism. Why are we asking, “Are you Muslim?” “What mosque do you go to?” What does that have to do with terrorism?’” The Times, of course, leaves that out there as a rhetorical question, without bothering to inform its readers that a Long Island mosque was recently revealed to have supported jihad terrorists, or that mosques in Austria were recently raided for supporting the Syrian jihad, or that Nigerian clerics are recruiting for Boko Haram in mosques, or that a mullah was recently killed in a bomb-making accident in a mosque in Afghanistan, or that a London mosque was used as a base for international jihad terror operations. Should the NYPD have informants in mosques? Absolutely. Is the New York Times once again on the side of America’s enemies by publishing a story suggesting that the placement of such informants is gratuitous and unwarranted? Absolutely.
“Muslims and the N.Y.P.D.,” by the New York Times Editorial Board, May 25, 2014 (thanks to Bill):
New York City’s police commissioner, William Bratton, made the right decision last month when he said he would disband a unit used by his predecessor, Raymond Kelly, to spy on law-abiding Muslims as they worshiped or patronized businesses in their communities. Beyond proving useless for intelligence purposes, the Demographics Unit undermined the fight against terrorism by alienating Muslims who were understandably angry about being singled out, not for illegal conduct but because of their religious affiliation.
This problem has yet to be fully resolved. As The Times’s Joseph Goldstein reported, the department is still running a program that singles out Muslims in a problematic way, this time to recruit them as informants. The department says the program, run by a squad of detectives euphemistically known as the Citywide Debriefing Team, has led to breaks in important cases. But the department has a long history of trampling on people’s rights during investigations of political activity, while making inflated claims about the value of its intelligence operations.
Since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, this unit has been searching the city jails for immigrants, typically Muslims, whom it then tries to persuade to become informants. Historically, informants are asked to provide information about criminal enterprises they know something about or have been part of. This effort has sought to recruit Muslims regardless of what they know, based largely on origin or Muslim-sounding names. As a former police sergeant who worked with the squad said: “We are there to collect intelligence about criminal activity or terrorism. Why are we asking, ‘Are you Muslim?’ ‘What mosque do you go to?’ What does that have to do with terrorism?”
Some of those potential recruits have been hauled in for petty offenses or even noncriminal violations. In some cases they have been held in custody longer than necessary so that detectives can interrogate them about where they attend religious services, the names of relatives and where they spend their free time.
The department insists that the subjects answered voluntarily. But since they were already in custody, many of them understandably feared further punishment if they failed to cooperate….