The New York Police Department used a 19-year-old paid informant to infiltrate New York’s Muslim community and then spy on it and entice individuals into criminal acts, according to a painstaking review of related evidence by the Associated Press. The activites in question:
Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bengali descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called “create and capture.” He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests. ….
Rahman said he received little training and spied on “everything and anyone.” He took pictures inside the many mosques he visited and eavesdropped on imams. By his own measure, he said he was very good at his job and his handler never once told him he was collecting too much, no matter whom he was spying on.
The story is written by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, two of the lead reporters in the AP’s Pulitzer-prize winning expose on NYPD surveillance of Muslims. The AP’s earlier work found that the NYPD created lists of devout Muslims to watch, treated name changes as worthy of investigation, and snuck informants into mosques. This program may have broken the law and yielded no leads or cases.
In 2005, Mitt Romney supported stepped up surveillance of mosques along similar lines. GOP members of Congress today accuse top Muslim White House aides of disloyalty and candidates compete over who can be more Islamophobic. Islamophobic incidents in the United States hit an all-time high this year.