Mosques in New York City were labeled “terrorist organizations” by the NYPD, which let the police department conduct surveillance, often without evidence of any sort of threat, The Associated Press reported as part of its ongoing investigation into spying on mosques
While breaking the exclusive story, AP reporters found documents and conducted interviews showing that the New York Police Department created “secret police files” for numerous innocent Muslims.
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The AP’s investigation has been ongoing, and as word of the extent of the surveillance filtered throughout the Big Apple, some Muslim groups sued over the targeted spying, WNYC reported in June
Since 9/11, the AP said, police opened what are termed “terrorism enterprise investigations,” which are intended to focus on terrorist investigations, that looked into mosques and the people who attend them. Despite sometimes years-long investigations, the AP said the NYPD never “criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.”
News of the targeted investigations of mosques angered the Muslim-American community, the New York Daily News said
. Groups have asked for a federal investigation into the tactics.
“This is a new level of low for the New York Police Department,” the Daily News quoted Linda Sarsour, director of the Arable American Association of New York, as saying. “As we were inviting Commissioner (Raymond) Kelly and his leadership into our mosques — into our institutions — he was coming through the back door.
“I literally saw that document and saw my organization’s name on it and I started crying,” Sarsour said to the AP. “I felt betrayed.”
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the actions were legal, the Daily News reported.
Legal or not, social media lit up with people offended by the investigations:
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