WOODBURY - The NYPD is accused of secretly labeling mosques as terror organizations.
Internal documents, obtained by the Associated Press, detail how the NYPD allegedly tried to recruit confidential informants to infiltrate Long Island mosques in its hunt for terrorists.
According to an Intelligence Division report, the NYPD has been branding entire mosques as terrorist organizations since the Sept. 11 attacks. The designation allows police to use informants to record sermons without specific evidence of wrongdoing.
The Intelligence Division document gave profiles of desired confidential informants. One called for an 18-year-old male of Afghan or Pakistani origin who lives on Long Island and speaks Pashtu. The ideal candidate would have computer skills and live in the vicinity of Huntington Station with access to Nassau Community College. The organization targeted was redacted.
"We don't investigate locations," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told News 12 Long Island. "We investigate people, and we will follow leads wherever they take us."
The New York Civil Liberties Union has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in filing a lawsuit to put an end to the program, which they say is unconstitutional.