NYPD disbands Muslim surveillance program

The new commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) William Bratton announced April 16 the disbanding of a surveillance unit used to spy on Muslim communities. The Demographics Unit, established in 2003, utilized plainclothes detectives to map communities both inside and outside New York City, tracking the movements and conversations of Muslim individuals. According to the New York Times, the unit, composed of around 12 detectives, was created to look for "hot spots" of radicalization that could theoretically provide early warning of possible terrorist activities. Surveillance focused on 28 "ancestries of interest." At a pretrial examination (PDF) before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Division Thomas Galati admitted that the program had never generated a lead. The tactics of the unit had drawn significant criticism and generated two federal lawsuits.

From Jurist, April 16. Used with permission.

  1. “Self-radicalized” terrorism in NYC?

    Recent Muslim convert Zale Thompson used a hatchet to attack two New York City cops in Jamaica, Queens, Oct. 23. Now police are calling it terrorism. "We would describe him as self-radicalized. We would describe him as inspired. We would feel at this time that he was self-directed," said Police Commissioner William Bratton. Added John Miller, the head of the NYPD's intelligence and counterterrorism division: "Was this an act of terrorism? It appears at this point that that was the suspect's intent," said John Miller, the head of the NYPD's intelligence and counterterrorism division. "We still have a little more investigative work to do to determine if we can document that in another way." (Daily News, NY1)

    Should be good propaganda for bringing back the Muslim surveillance program…