NYPD Spent Years Spying On Muslims, Generated Exactly Zero Leads

from the security-theater dept

We just wrote about yet another (in a long line) of manufactured terrorist plots, in which the FBI creates its own terrorist plot to arrest anyone who can be coaxed into going along for the ride, even if they had no interest or ability to push the plot forward on their own. In that case, it was even more ridiculous, because they couldn’t even find anyone willing to go along with the plot — and the main “suspect” actually alerted the FBI to the informant who was trying to coax him into taking part in a plot (which didn’t stop him from being arrested, even if the case was eventually dropped).

Of course, the FBI is not alone in its incredibly ham-fisted anti-terrorism efforts in which the focus seems to be much more about someone’s religious leanings, rather than any actual interest in creating terror. The NY Police Department got plenty of attention for deciding to build their own local versions of the FBI and CIA to try to catch terrorists. That link describes the NYPD as a sort of new “elite” intelligence agency, hiring people out of other intelligence agencies and then placing agents around the globe to try to beat the FBI and CIA at their own game.

Back at home, apparently this included following on the FBI’s tactic of assuming that “brown skin = terrorist.” As such, they’ve spent the past few years spying on “Muslim neighbrhoods” throughout New York (with help from the CIA), sending undercover agents and informants into Muslim groups and organizations:

The Demographics Unit is at the heart of a police spying program, built with help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.

Police hoped the Demographics Unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism. And if police ever got a tip about, say, an Afghan terrorist in the city, they’d know where he was likely to rent a room, buy groceries and watch sports.

How useful has it been? Apparently not at all. Not a single lead has come out of the program. Not one.

I know this is a crazy thought, but perhaps violating the privacy of tons of people just because of the color of their skin or their religion, isn’t the best (or even “a”) way to stop terrorists.

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Comments on “NYPD Spent Years Spying On Muslims, Generated Exactly Zero Leads”

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39 Comments
weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Duh!

Jews, Pagans, and Buddhists have all had their turn already.

Next will be anarchists, and right wing blog operators.
Oh and dont forget the elderly.

This shit is run by fake Christians, fake politicians
Look at they mansions, then look at the conditions you live in
All they talk about is terrorism on television
They tell you to listen, but they don’t really tell you they mission
They funded Al-Qaeda, and now they blame the Muslim religion
Even though Bin Laden, was a CIA tactician
They gave him billions of dollars, and they funded his purpose
Fahrenheit 9/11, that’s just scratchin’ the surface.

Amerikkka’s been took – it’s plain to see
The oldest trick in the book is make an enemy
A phony evil so the government can do its dirt
And take away ya freedom lock and load, beat and search
Ain’t nothin’ changed but more colored people locked in prison
These pigs still beat us but it seem we forgettin’
But I remember ‘fore September how these devils do it
Fuck Giuliani ask Diallo how he doin’
Oil blood money makes these killers ride cold
Suspicious suicides people dyin’ never told
It’s all a part of playin’ God so ya think we need ’em
While ‘Bin Ashcroft’ take away ya rights to freedom
Bear witness to the sickness of these dictators
Hope you understand the time brother cause it’s major

Anonymous Coward says:

“I’ve said it over and over. The largest terrorist organization which directly targets the United States is the KKK. The NYPD is looking in the wrong place for terrorists.”

But white people don’t commit terrorist attacks! They just commit mass shootings in very populated areas (like movie theaters, or college campuses, or grocery stores a local politician is meeting some voters at)! Or kill people simply because they disagree with them on politics (like the guy who shot that abortion doctor, or the guy who shot the guard at the Family Research Council)!

Ok, killing people over political disagreements is ‘technically’ domestic terrorism, using fear and violence to accomplish your political goals just like Bin Laden did… but domestic terrorism isn’t terrorism, because the media never calls it that! The media says we only have to worry about terrorism from foreigners, or people who are!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure I agree with that statement because the killing isn’t the point, the key goal is to create fear in the targeted population so that it stops the hated activity (performing abortions, being brown, voting democrat). Threats of non-lethal violence, acts under colour of authority, and even the threat to be added to a ‘watch list’ which receives greater scrutiny for membership in a group or acts can be terrorism. Killing people for terrorist reasons just happens to be more visible than the other acts and one that many people don’t justify as being acceptable the way they do other terrorist acts.

velox (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Governmental bureaucracies such as the NYPD derive their funding through the whims of politicians. These bueaucracies know it is essential to be doing what politicians consider to be *important* to ensure their department’s wants and needs are covered in the budget for the next fiscal year.
So long as politi-critters want to seen as ‘fighting terrorists to keep the public safe’, then then law enforcement will be ‘actively fighting terror’ – regardless of whether there is any evidence on the street that such programs are necessary or even helpful.

Anonymous Coward says:

What about all the white terrorists … Columbine, the Colorado shooters, all the serial killers, etc…

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120723/00374519790/uk-wont-extradite-terrorists-if-you-build-site-that-helps-people-watch-tv.shtml#c619

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120729/19374119870/hollywood-made-him-do-it-two-more-theories-aurora-shooter.shtml#c329

Why doesn’t the feds spend more time investigating them, they seem to be much more likely engage in terrorist activities even without the FBI’s encouragement.

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