The CIA Is Helping the NYPD Spy, Probably on Muslims

Police confirmed that an agent is teaching officers espionage techniques

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The Associated Press reports:

New York’s police commissioner confirmed Thursday that a CIA officer is working out of police headquarters there … But he and the CIA said the spy agency’s role at the department is an advisory one.

Speaking to reporters in New York, commissioner Raymond Kelly acknowledged that the CIA trains NYPD officers on "trade craft issues," meaning espionage techniques, and advises police about events happening overseas.

The confirmation comes after a lengthy report from the AP's Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo about a partnership between the CIA and the NYPD that sent "dispatched undercover officers, known as 'rakers,' into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program" and "used informants, known as 'mosque crawlers,' to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing."

Following the initial report, Mayor Bloomberg defended the NYPD. "The first job is to make sure to the extent humanly possible that [a terrorist attack] does not happen," said Bloomberg. "We don't stop to think about the religion. We stop to think about the threats and focus our efforts there."

Ramzi Kassem, an associate professor at the City University of New York, disagreed. "The limits our laws place on our government are there for a reason," wrote Kassem in an op-ed column at Al Jazeera. "As a society, we do not want our government to spy on entire communities nor do we want individuals singled out on the basis of race or religion. Similarly, our CIA spies are trained to break laws and disregard rights. Our laws allow them to do that only abroad, not at home."

At the request of a Muslim advocacy group, a Justice Department investigation into the situation is underway.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.