Records detail mosque spying; NYPD defends tactics
“The worshippers made remarks to the effect that ‘it better be an accident; we don’t need any more heat,’” an undercover officer reported from the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center in Jersey City, N.J.
In some instances, the NYPD put cameras on light poles and trained them on mosques, documents show. Because the cameras were in public space, police didn’t need a warrant to conduct the surveillance.
Police also wrote down the license plates of cars in mosque parking lots, documents show. In some instances, police in unmarked cars outfitted with electronic license plate readers would drive down the street and record the plates of everyone parked near the mosque, former officials recalled.
“They’re viewing Muslims like they’re crazy. They’re terrorists. They all must be fanatics,” said Abdul Akbar Mohammed, the imam for the past eight years at the Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim in Newark. “That’s not right.”
• Associated Press writers Chris Hawley and Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report.