Mosques declared terrorism organisations by NYPD: Report

Published: August 28, 2013
This means that anyone attending the prayer service can potentially be investigated and go under surveillance. PHOTO: AFP

This means that anyone attending the prayer service can potentially be investigated and go under surveillance. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK: The New York Police Department (NYPD) has secretly label entire mosques as terrorism organisations, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The label has allowed the department to spy on imams and record sermons without having specific evidence of criminal activities.

This means that anyone attending the prayer service is part of organisation and can potentially be investigated and go under surveillance.

As per confidential police documents and interviews, NYPD has initiated more than a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques following the terror attacks on World Trade Centers (WTC) in New York.

Although mosques have never been charged for a criminal activity in New York, many TEIs have expanded to continue the on-going surveillance. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

The confidential document also reveals that NYPD investigated numerous innocent Muslims and kept their information in secret files. According to interviews with federal law enforcement officials, as NYPD conducts at least a dozen enterprise investigations, FBI never did one.

Following the strategy, NYPD has also sent numerous undercover officers into mosques in order to plant informants in the Islamic institutions.

The documents were disclosed in a lawsuit against NYPD accusing the department over racial profiling while combating crime. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional.

Two groups in the US, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have sued NYPD stating that the investigation programs are unlawful and an obstacle for Muslims to practice their faith with freedom.

These accusations have been denied by the Police Commissioner and Mayor Mike Bloomberg stating that the police do not target people without a lead.

The NYPD spokesman also refused to comment on the matter.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Blunt
    Aug 28, 2013 - 5:38PM

    Height of madness !! People doing loud hue and cry about treatment of minorities in Pakistan should also take notice of this situation as well. Offcourse, not two wrongs make one right. Recommend

  • Betty Johnson
    Aug 28, 2013 - 5:39PM

    The NSA has labeled all Americans as potential terrorists, so what’s the big deal?Recommend

  • Dajjal
    Aug 28, 2013 - 5:58PM

    Pakistan should do the same… its the only way to root out terrorism…Recommend

  • Syed
    Aug 28, 2013 - 6:01PM

    & Liberals in this country will justify this. Recommend

  • Asad Khan
    Aug 28, 2013 - 6:33PM

    Can somebody help me to understand that why the Allies (a.ka. free world) fought WWII for?????

    Perhaps someone is writing Chapter 1 of Schindler’s List!!!!, again. or perhaps I am smoking good stuff these days.


  • Ricky
    Aug 28, 2013 - 6:52PM

    It is a shame that actions of a few fanatic terrorists at the name of religion have made the sanctity of houses of worship into question. Even though most conservatives are all for surveillance of mosques the most liberal organizations like American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have been opposing it and challenging it in the courts of law on the basis of religious freedom.
    While this surveillance is condemned by all liberals even in the US, the imp point to ponder is how many innocent people are punished as a result of this program? The counter argument to the liberals by the conservatives is “if you have nothing to hide what are you afraid of?” Places of worship are open to all and there is nothing secret going on there. Even the most religious people make audio and video recordings of Hajj proceedings and sermons in the mosques. If the mosques are opened to the entire world like Hajj proceedings then there would be nothing secret or questionable about them. Till both parties become open and honest this cat and mouse game would continue. Recommend

  • Insaan
    Aug 28, 2013 - 7:01PM

    @Blunt: People doing loud hue and cry about treatment of minorities in Pakistan should also take notice of this situation as well.

    Informants are used to collect information about terrorists who want to kill innocent people.
    Pakistanis terrorize minorities in the name of Blasphemy to grab their properties and businesses. Hindu girls are kidnapped and forced to convert their religion. Pakistanis even can’t get along with each other. Pakistani Muslims kill each other in mosques, funerals and markets.

    Sunnis kill Shias to get a free condo in the heaven.Recommend

  • Saz
    Aug 28, 2013 - 7:22PM

    No need to justify any thing , its their country let them do as they will, also muslims there are still more secure and have better rights then muslims over here.
    Call me whatever you will but the truth is the truthRecommend

  • Mj
    Aug 28, 2013 - 7:39PM

    Pakistan should take similar steps, but care should be taken to increase the surveillance of only those mosques which are suspected to promote violence and hatred.


  • Uza Syed
    Aug 28, 2013 - 7:42PM

    Having been through couple of Friday prayers / congregations there and witnessing the quality and contents of lectures delivered by the mullahs and tolerated by the people, no wonder that they question the sanity of participants, anyone would suspect the ultimate goal of this. I’d be pretty uncertain and suspect anyone of us seeing the ‘ultimate light’ and go berserk with it. After all, where did all their Afias & Salmans came from?


  • unbelievable
    Aug 28, 2013 - 7:57PM


    People doing loud hue and cry about
    treatment of minorities in Pakistan
    should also take notice of this
    situation as well

    Big difference between listening in on a conversation and burning down houses/killing people. Your analogy is off base.


  • sami
    Aug 28, 2013 - 8:16PM

    @Dajjal… Your dream will never come true..


  • Jamshed
    Aug 28, 2013 - 8:27PM

    Whats wrong with this? Nothing! This is how you ensure security of all citizens!


  • human
    Aug 28, 2013 - 8:59PM

    Since religion has become the most profitable industry and mosques have replaced brand names in muslim countries therefore no wonder why mosques are being labelled as terrorist organization. As long as we will give charge of religion to power hungry people we will have these issues. pursuit of power, lust for money becomes leathal when religion is used as a tool to disguise one’s crime.


  • Aug 28, 2013 - 9:33PM

    it helps American Administration eradicate unemployment.


  • IceSoul
    Aug 28, 2013 - 11:14PM

    And all conservative facists should compare the Muslims killed in the US in the last 10 years with the no of Muslims killed in Pakistan in the same time.


  • Rashid
    Aug 28, 2013 - 11:45PM

    US shows the way. The rest of the world should follow. One can pray whatever god he/she likes from and within the four walls of his/her home, but the this singular urge to congregate on prayer is a pointer to a herd mentality that seeks security in numbers. So typical of people suffering from inferiority complex, intellectual and material.


  • Parvez
    Aug 29, 2013 - 12:32AM

    @sami: Martin Luther King Jr had a dream ……………and it came true.


  • Muhammad Yasir Ali Khan
    Aug 29, 2013 - 3:26AM

    I don’t mind one bit. These mosques should have nothing to hide. Muslims are in complete denial about the radicalization problem within the community, so the only alternative is having someone else watch over us.


  • Humayun
    Aug 29, 2013 - 6:17AM

    Seems like US is officially moving from Racial Profiling to Discriminatory Religious Profiling !


  • Observer
    Aug 29, 2013 - 8:54AM

    Many imams of mosques in the US have been caught preaching violence and Jihad in the past 10 years. Some mosques have even been closed down for supporting terrorism. When a community breeds terrorists, one can’t complain about the western countries trying to prevent terror attacks. It is also important to realize that no such monitoring of mosques had been conducted prior to the 9/11 attack.


  • Aug 29, 2013 - 5:34PM

    We in India and Pakistan are used to point fingers and find faults with others. We turn a blind eye to what we do to inflict self injury. Are we not responsible for allowing the use of our religious places of peace and spirituality for inflammatory and hatred filled speeches?


  • Water Bottle
    Aug 29, 2013 - 6:17PM

    Can India show similar guts and honesty in declaring at least some of the known terror havens masquerading as mosques but teaching hate as terror centres.


  • gp65
    Aug 29, 2013 - 7:12PM


    @VINOD: IS there a reason you dragged India into this? Indian Muslims have not been involved in global terrorism. Nor am I aware of any temples or gurudwaras which have been used to preach terror.Recommend

  • S!D
    Aug 29, 2013 - 8:12PM

    Spying is the new hobby of Americans, be it on their friends, natives or terrorists. Snowden’s revelations tell the story.


  • Gurion
    Aug 29, 2013 - 8:45PM

    History from 625 AD onward is proof enough!


  • Lonestarlet
    Aug 29, 2013 - 9:53PM

    @Parvez: Not really. And unfortunately, those at whom his message was most targeted didn’t get it and their successive generations don’t even know anything about him, except the US has a holiday in January for his birthday.


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