NYPD Muslim surveillance never generated terrorism leads: Report
A controversial NYPD unit that spied on Muslim communities never turned up a single lead or terrorism investigation after more than six years in operation, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The secretive unit, whichgets assistance from the CIA, monitored Muslim neighborhoods, mosques, businesses and other community mainstays, sometimes with the help of informants.
The police department hoped the unit would help to identify terror plots long before any plan could be put into action, but in a deposition in June, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati said no surveillance ever led to a criminal case, the AP reported.
"I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report, and I'm here since 2006," Galati said, according to newly unsealed court documents the AP obtained. "I don't recall other ones prior to my arrival. Again, that's always a possibility. I am not aware of any."
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, condemned the AP's report.
"In the reporters' bizarro world, they first falsely accuse the NYPD of using demographics to 'spy' and launch investigations, and now accuse us of 'failure' for not doing that which we said all along we were not doing," Brownesaid in statement. Civil rights groups long condemned the practices, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said any techniques employed were necessary and legal post-9/11.