NYPD Muslim Intelligence Gathering
March 4, 2012 by staff
NYPD Muslim Intelligence Gathering, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended his department’s monitoring of Muslim student groups Saturday, saying the tactics had helped lead investigators to “very dangerous individuals,” even as student and activists upset about the monitoring rallied outside the Wall Street luncheon where he delivered his remarks.
In a transcript of his remarks, Kelly gave his most detailed defense of the NYPD’s contentious intelligence gathering during a Fordham Law School alumni luncheon where he was a guest speaker. The alumni association event was closed to the media.
“Any one who intimates that it is unlawful for the police department to search online, visit public places, or map neighborhoods has not read, misunderstood or intentionally obfuscated the meaning of the Handschu guidelines,” he said, referring to a court order that governs how the NYPD can collect intelligence.
He said that the department turned its focus on Muslim student groups in 2006 after terror plots in Britain were shown to have involved university Muslim student groups in the U.K.. He said as part of the NYPD’s countert*rror*sm effort, they were trying to determine “how individuals seeking to do harm might communicate or conceal themselves.”
“We did not look at these groups on the basis of their religious affiliation,” Kelly said, according to the transcript provided by the NYPD. “We looked at their public communications on the basis of examples like the 2005 London transit bombing and the 2006 plot to detonate explosives on transatlantic airlines, both of which involved active members of Muslim student associations in Britain.”
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