A 19-year-old American of Bengali descent told the Associated Press he was paid by the New York Police Department to bait fellow Muslims. He said he spied on “everything and anyone.”
Shamiur Rahman was paid $1,000 per month to spy on student groups and mosques and collect the names of innocent people. He showed the AP week after week of text messages and photographs with his NYPD contacts.
“In addition to the monthly payments, Rahman also earned goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests,” the Daily Mail reports.
Rahman said he believes the spying was “detrimental to the Constitution.”
In February, the AP reported that NYPD “mosque crawlers” were spying on and documenting protected speech and activities of innocent people without any evidence of wrongdoing in New York and New Jersey.
“The NYPD operates far outside its borders and targets ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government,” write Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman. “And it does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying.”
The NYPD surveillance program was initiated after the September 11, 2001, attacks and was established with the help of the CIA. The NYPD receives funding for its surveillance effort from the American tax payer under a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes.
Despite statutory provision in its charter prohibiting the CIA from working within the United States, the agency has done so illegally since at least the 1970s with Operation CHAOS and other covert programs. According to the Commission on CIA Activities in the United States, the agency has worked with police departments in the United States since 1969.
In October, we reported that the CIA works directly with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York, which has hundreds of NYPD detectives assigned to it. JTTF is comprised of the FBI and other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Secret Service and state and local law enforcement.