NYPD Just Calls Mosques Terrorist Organizations to Make Things Easier

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly (R) speaks at a press conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk practice on August 12, 2013 in New York City. A federal court judge ruled that Stop-and-Frisk violates rights guaranteed to people; the Bloomberg administration has vowed to appeal the case.
Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, whose upcoming NYPD book Enemies Within is excerpted in this week’s New York, are back today with another dispatch about the department’s watchful eye on any and all local Muslims. According to the AP, the NYPD has helped its own information-gathering efforts, which rely on infiltrating the Muslim community with undercover officers, by just broadly designating mosques as terrorist organizations to better surveil them. There have been at least twelve mosque-based “terrorism enterprise investigations” since 9/11, but exactly zero criminal charges against any mosque or Islamic organization.

A mosque is different than a church or a temple,” a former senior NYPD official told Apuzzo and Goldman, as quoted in the book. “It plays a bigger role in society and its day-to-day activities. They pray five times a day. They’re there all the time. If something bad is going to happen, they’re going to hear about it in the mosques. It’s not as sinister as it sounds. We’re just going into the mosques. We just want to know what they’re saying.”

The NYPD “sought also to put people on the boards of New York’s Islamic institutions to fill intelligence gaps,” according to today’s report. While Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said previously that “undercover officers and confidential informants do not enter a mosque unless they are following up on a lead,” now he’s just attempting to discredit the messengers in a broad sense:

NYPD Watches Mosques As Terrorist Organizations