A teenage spy for the New York Police Department says he was under orders to "create and capture" terrorist suspects by befriending fellow Muslims and "baiting" them with talk about jihad. Shamiur Rahman tells Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press that he earned as much as $1,000 a month by surveilling mosques and Islamic study groups, taking pictures and collecting names of innocent people. The 19-year-old was born in Queens to Bengali parents and said he was recruited from jail after a series of minor drug arrests.
Rahman claims he became one of the NYPD's "mosque crawlers"—informants who move around the tri-state area sitting in on lectures to record what local imams say in sermons and keeping of track of who is in attendance He says he took photographs of sign-in sheets to gather names and shared phone numbers of those he met with the police. He was encouraged to talk to other Muslims about things like "jihad," "terrorism" and "revolution" and report back about the reactions.
However, Rahman says he also inflated his "intelligence" to impress his handlers and earn more money. He would intentionally take comments that were made to him out of context, saying that was all part of "playing the game."