New Report Claims NYPD Using ‘Mosque Crawlers’ To Spy On Muslims

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Police Department, along with the CIA, is spying on Muslims, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The AP said that the police department, with “unprecedented” help from the CIA, “dispatched undercover officers, known as ‘rakers,’ into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program.”

In addition, the wire service said authorities used so-called “mosque crawlers,” who allegedly monitored sermons, even when there wasn’t evidence of wrongdoing.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne spoke with 1010 WINS Wednesday evening and said the story is “fiction.”

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan With More On The Story

“We follow leads wherever they may happen to go. We don’t have any such thing as ‘mosque crawlers’ — people just willy nilly going to mosques for no reason,” Browne said.

The AP said its investigation was based on documents and interviews with over 40 “current and former New York Police Department and federal officials,” adding that many of those officials were “directly involved in planning and carrying out these secret operations.”

Calling it a “partnership that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying,” the article states that neither the City Council or federal government was made aware of operations.

Cyrus McGoldrick with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the report reinforces what his organization has long suspected.

“It has created a lot of fear in the community. It’s planted a lot of seeds of distrust and it’s a difficult time,” he told 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan.

Faiza Patel of the Brennan Center for Justice told WCBS 880 that she hopes the article was a “wake-up call” for the City Council.

“We have the country’s largest police department with a ginormous budget, the largest intelligence gathering municipal authority in the U.S. and the City Council has never held a hearing on its intelligence gathering operations and I think it’s time they did,” Patel said.

Meanwhile, Browne said the NYPD was simply doing all it could to ensure there was not another terrorist attack. He added that undercover investigations have been the “subject of newspaper and television articles for the last ten years.”

“In one case we have an undercover in an Islamic bookstore because of the specific plot to blow up the Herald Square subway station,” he said.

However, some advocates were not convinced by the deputy commissioner’s words.

“I think that the report today was, really, only a confirmation of what a lot of us already knew or at least suspected,” McGoldrick said.

What do you think about the report?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • IgnoranteElephante

    There really is no privacy or constitutional implications here. It would be one thing, if the government were breaking into closed mosques or homes and gathering intelligence or randomly wiretapping telephones. It is entirely another thing if they attend mosques and collect information.

    You assume the risk that people you talk to or in front of are trustworthy. If you talk about committing crimes to someone who turns around and reports you, that does not violate your right to privacy. This is true if the person you are talking in front of happens to work for the government.

    What stops me from going to church, listening to what is said, and reporting it back to the police? Nothing. Similarly, nothing stops me from putting on a yarmulke and going into a synagogue under the guise of being a Jew for the purposes of spying.

  • Pat Johnson

    Right in the shadow of the Empire State building at 29th Street
    Between 5th & Broadway is the “Taxi driver/owners” Mosque .
    Imagine a Fatwa against NYC and some ten thousand + Taxi Cabs have
    bombs ? So all of this “spying” would not be to0 effective or would it?
    Poor Islamist’s were upset about Pork being served at the Ace Hotel
    across the street from the Mosque and booze so the hotel put plants
    in front of their windows at the bar.

  • Jane Wilson

    I was listening to Democracy Now! this morning on WBAI and they were talking about this story. They interviewed Matt Apuzzo, who co-authored the AP report. Very interesting interview. You can watch it online too, here is the link:

  • fm

    You better use you surname as Mohamed .Shame on you. I know you are not a Muslim, what you trying to do is to show that Muslims are killers, This is unfair to all Muslims around the world, I hope that some thing bad will append to you and then you will feel how it is unfair to try to infiltrate in a group that you are not one of them and try to be defending them while you know that you want to hurt them.
    There is bad people in every group but that does not mean all that basket is bad.
    If you are a real Muslim you shouldn’t ben talking about killing innocent people.

  • hotnike

    So Ahkmed, You say you have never killed anyone, and then go on to say you will kill all “YOU INFIDELS”. You killed 3000+ on 9/11. You are an idiot.

    • fm

      This is exactly what the so called ahkmed want, he is not a Muslim

  • thecrow
  • SGMS

    All I want is for the general public to understand that progressive Muslims hate extremists more than any non-Muslim. They have hijacked our religion and made it into some horrid, backward, violent system of belief. I have provided medical attention to children whose families escaped the Taliban and if there ever were an evil, it is the Taliban and all other violent Muslim extremists.

    We often cannot see the ramifications of drastic action against one group. But in retrospect we agree the internment of the Japanese was a poor choice of action. McCarthy used the bully pulpit to call anyone he didn’t like a Communist and thus opened them up to Federal Investigation. We realize this was wrong.

    The common thread is that people acted out of fear and went too far. We regret the transgression of civil liberties.

    Forget about Muslims for a moment. What does this blurring of the lines between the CIA and NYPD mean for the future? What type of precedent does it set. Muslims will be a menace for a certain period, but who will it be after that? Extreme evironmentalists? Hackers who have not committed any crime, but might? Chinese businessmen operating legitimate businesses abroad that cut into profits of American companies? What about people genetically predisposed to violent crimes? Or people predisposed to cheating a bit on their taxes?

    In the meantime, I will say I am not at all surprised by any of this. The scope is pretty astounding though.

    I pray someday that I won’t have to keep reading comments about why I am evil and deserve to die.

    • Swami

      They hijacked your religion?
      Or did you hijack theirs and turn it into some new age hippy love, peace, and tolerance thing?

      I don’t believe in judging another person’s religion. I can’t say who the “true believers” are and who are not, and what is the true path and what isn’t. If they call themselves Muslim, if they tell me that Islam is one of the reason for the attacks, that’s enough for me.

    • Dr. Steven

      Part of the problem is that the “vast moderate muslim majority” has been largely silent since 9/11. All we get is the Hamas-loving CAIR whining every week or so about some tangential issue. The real issue is that the “moderate, silent muslim majority” is targeted constantly by Wahabi ideology in US mosques & internet chats. THAT’S what needs to be monitored because YOU guys would never turn in one of your muslim brothers. It’s not discrimination it’s law enforcement.

      • Michael H.

        There are groups throughout the US, like “Muslims for a Safe America” who routinely work with law enforcement and speak out against extremism. Muslims frequently turn in extremists, or at the very least, contribute to investigations. To say otherwise is an outright lie. Why do you insist on lying?

    • Saadia Ahmad

      One day, inshaAllah. Keep on doing what you’re doing – if you constantly put forth truth and positivity, it cannot by nature of the universe be ignored forever.

  • WGM

    This shouldn’t be a story. If the NYPD CIA what would be a story is “New Report Claims NYPD NOT Using ‘Mosque Crawlers’ To Spy On Muslims”

  • Silver McDee

    I fail to see the problem here. Good job by the NYPD

  • muhammad

    Spy on us as much as you want. And for all you NYPD haters go to hell!!!!!

  • j

    Islam is not a disease. fanaticism of any religion is. God is as real as we are.

  • ajapierce

    I totally agree, in a more simpler term, if someone acts like a stupid and dangerous kid, you have to watch over them and make sure there’s no wrong doing going on.

    Personally speaking, most religions in this country bring their religious beliefs but rarely try to enforce religious law. Jewish and Catholics in some branch do enforce religious law, but not to the extent and scale that muslim’s Sharia law goes.

    That is what the denagerous part is, and this is what makes very violent individuals who would be more or less stupid enough to blow themselves up in the name of their god, it’s pure and utter bad education. If those you are the suicide bombers had better education, they would be able to make more money and better understand what we call the modern world of today, not the 13th cntury where most muslim education is still at.


    to be fair, they should deploy some in synagogues and churches, we all know they will come up empty. 80% chance or better they’ll get what they’re looking for in the mosques….

  • Dean

    the AP should be ashamed of themselves. If this type of undercover activity was going on they have no right to publicly publish the story.

    • Dr. Steven

      AP has been owned by the Saudis for over 20 years. Wonder why they are always slanted against Israel & our war on terror?

      • Michael H.

        AP owned by the Saudis? The AP is a non profit cooperative based in NYC and owned by it’s contributing newspapers, radio and television stations. All of these contributors are United States companies.

        So in short, you’re either mistaken or a liar. Take your pick.

  • RealJustice

    I don’t mind these tactics. I’d rather be safe than sorry. The people who oppose should all be gathered together and interrogated. If they had nothing to hide then why get upset?

    • sam

      How about because its an infringement on our basic civil rights?

  • ProFromDover

    Works for me. Now, extend the surveillance to Chinese Embassy and Consulates and we’re good.

  • Nawal .

    Ok. My honest opinion? NYPD agents are going over board. Just because some Muslims are terrorists doesn’t mean you have to discriminate against all muslims and suspecting us all. YES, it is racist and i think they owe Muslims an apology! You cant use the Mosques to spy on Muslims, its a religous building and very important to muslims.

    • ProFromDover

      What a perfect venue — under the pretext of religion and spirituality — to hatch a plot to annihilate the American non-believers. War to convert is the Islamic way, their prime directive.

    • ed

      Are you saying it’s ok to plan attacks, if you plan it in a mosques ? Mosques = safe houses for terrorists ?

      Now my honest opinion …. All muslims are helping other muslims to commit terrorist acts by letting them plan acts in mosques and not reporting.

    • Swami

      Nonsense. Ask any vet returning from Iraq. Mosques have been used frequently as weapon storage sites, and even firing positions, by Muslims.

      Or, when you said “very important to Muslims”.. was that what you were talking about?

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