February 18th, 2012 | City

NYPD kept watch on Muslim Yalies, report says

Photo by Creative Commons.

New York Police Department officers monitored Muslim students at Yale and at least 14 other colleges around the northeast, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Detectives went undercover and trawled the websites of Muslim student associations at colleges including the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, according to the AP. The names of students and professors were recorded in reports prepared for New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, though none were charged with any crime.

“I see a violation of civil rights here,” Tanweer Haq, chaplain of the Muslim Student Association at Syracuse, told the AP. “Nobody wants to be on the list of the FBI or the NYPD or whatever. Muslim students want to have their own lives, their own privacy and enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities that everybody else has.”

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the AP his department deemed it “prudent to get a better handle on” what was occurring at Muslim student associations around the Northeast. At least 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism-related charges around the world were associated with Muslim student associations, Browne pointed out. He said the NYPD’s monitoring only took place in 2006 and 2007, but the AP documented cases of undercover monitoring as recently as 2009.

University spokesman Tom Conroy could not immediately be reached for comment.

  • River_Tam

    A waste of resources, but was any part of this illegal or not?

    Clearly the “trawling the websites” part wasn’t illegal – was any component of it illegal or is this all in the category of “the police generally wastes its time”?

  • Quals

    Lets not forget that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former mouthpiece for top-level Taliban, used to go here.

  • MC09

    Let’s also not forget that Anwar al-Awlaki was President of the MSA at Colorado State!

  • River_Tam

    Inconvenient facts:

    * Anwar al-Awlaki, aka the American Al-Qaeda recruiter, was the first imam invited by the CMSA to lead a prayer on Capitol Hill in 2002.
    * Abdurahman Alamoudi, aka a Hamas and Al-Qaeda operative serving 23 years in prison, created the DoD’s Muslim Chaplain Program.

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