August 25th, 2011 16:32 EST
Is the CIA Spying on New York City Muslims?
According to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, a CIA officer is working at police headquarters in an advisory role. The confirmation came after Kelly was asked questions about the NYPD`s relationship with the CIA since the 9/11 attacks. However, NY officials emphasized that no domestic espionage operations were in progress and the department and the city were intent on building relationships with the Muslim communities and they are not being targeted in investigations.
Muslim communities doubt the NYPD`s bridge-building policies especially after and Associated Press report was released this week claiming that NYPD has sent undercover officers into minority neighborhoods. The officers, known as "rakers", monitor the interaction in local businesses such as cafes and bookstores. The report also mentions the use of "mosque crawlers" who monitor religious services. The NYPD denies the findings of the Associated Press.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD`s actions noting that their first job is prevention. The Justice Department said it will review the actions of the NYPD as requested by a Muslim Advocacy Group.
Since the attacks on 9/11, Muslin leaders and government officials have made an effort to show that they are all part of the same community. Commissioner Kelly attends mosque services often as well as dinner with Muslim community leaders. The FBI recently sponsored and event for 500 young Muslims in Brooklyn.
Sidique Wai, a member of New York City`s Muslim community and an African immigrant was hired by the NYPD to head the community outreach program. Wai disagrees with the Associated Press` findings and has stated that he is not aware of any intentional profiling of the Muslim community by the NYPD.
Some Muslim leaders still believe the NYPD uses aggressive tactics to gain information from Muslims while other leaders are happy with the changes inspired by the outreach program and acknowledge the increase in open communication between Imams and Muslims throughout the city.