The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the latest of several law enforcement agencies—including the FBI—to succumb to the pressure of Islamic groups demanding changes in anti-terrorism investigations and training they claim discriminates against Muslims.
As part of a court settlement announced this month, the NYPD will purge a highly acclaimed report (Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat) that’s proven to be a critical tool in terrorism investigations. The NYPD will also limit the use of undercover officers and informants in Muslim communities and create a policy that bans religious discrimination. The department will “provide additional guidance to police officers at part of a settlement of lawsuits accusing the NYPD of improperly investigating Muslim groups,” according to a statement issued by the law enforcement agency. The change comes on the heels of an increase in terrorism attacks by radicals associated with groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The settlement stems from a 2013 lawsuit filed by three New York Muslims, two mosques and a Muslim nonprofit accusing the NYPD of “discriminatory surveillance” after 9/11. Muslim communities and their institutions were singled out and officers and informants were deployed to mosques to surveil innocent religious leaders and followers, the lawsuit alleges. The department also employed invasive tactics to spy on area Muslims, according to the complaint. The now-censored report “stigmatizes an entire faith community and invites discrimination,” the Muslim plaintiffs claim in their suit. The 90-page NYPD report says that most Islamic terrorists in the West start as “unremarkable people” who become religious and radical in a four-stage process.
“Many of the terrorist attacks or thwarted plots against cities in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States have been conceptualized and planned by local residents/citizens who sought to attack their country of residence,” the 2007 NYPD report says. “The majority of these individuals began as “unremarkable” – they had “unremarkable” jobs, had lived “unremarkable” lives and had little, if any criminal history.” After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, a New York newspaper published a story documenting how the brothers who carried out the attack fit the profile of homegrown terrorists outlined in the NYPD’s “prescient but controversial” document.
The now-banned report was created to provide law enforcement agencies and legislators with information related to the operations of domestic terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. It was put together by the NYPD Intelligence Division under former police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The city’s agreement to delete it from the NYPD’s website is a “blatant act of cowardliness,” according to Patrick Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector general of the New York State prisons’ criminal intelligence division. Dunleavy worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years and assures there was no bias in the department’s anti-terrorism work. “Seeing the NYPD and city officials caving in to the demands of a few is most disheartening,” Dunleavy writes in a recently published piece.
This appears to be a frightening trend that Judicial Watch has reported on extensively in the last few years. Muslim rights groups, especially the terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have proven they wield tremendous power in the Obama administration. This is especially true when it comes to the way the nation’s law enforcement agencies conduct anti-terrorism training. In fact, it was CAIR that got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal a few years ago and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. JW also published a special in-depth report in 2015.
CAIR and its allies also got several police departments in President Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. Just a few months ago Islamic activists got the FBI to suspend a new internet program aimed at preventing the radicalization of youth because Muslim and Arab rights groups determined that it discriminates against Muslims and will lead to bullying, bias and religious profiling of students.