Muslim groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate what they call the New York Police Department's "massive covert program to monitor the Muslim communities."
Top investigative reporters with the Associated Press spend months investigating the NYPD's counter-terror unit and published a lengthy investigative report Wednesday. The report revealed that the NYPD following 9/11 developed an investigative unit that rivaled the CIA, which is prohibited from conducting surveillance operations on domestic soil.
Muslim leaders, civil libertarians and political leaders hosted a news conference to express "outrage at the potentially illegal program," according to a CAIR press release.
The report revealed that the NYPD hired a CIA officer to train police on espionage tactics to infiltrate Muslim communities. According to the report, the department uses "mosque crawlers" to gather intel.
"The responsibility of the NYPD is to protect all New Yorkers equally, and to investigate crimes not communities," says Cyrus McGoldrick, the CAIR-NY civil rights manager. "Programs like this are a violation not only of the civil rights of American Muslims, but are a violation of the trust we place in our law enforcement."