Oops! A 911 Call Exposed NYPD's Secret Spying Lair Across the State Border

The AP, which has been following the "NYPD spying on Muslims in other states" story for a long time, now has a piece on the long-awaited release of police tapes that show how the "safe house" where New York police in New Jersey snooped, was discovered: ironically, a 911 call.

"What's suspicious?" the dispatcher asked.

"Suspicious in the sense that the apartment has about - has no furniture except two beds, has no clothing, has New York City Police Department radios."

"Really?" the dispatcher asked, her voice rising with surprise.

The caller, Salil Sheth, had stumbled upon one of the NYPD's biggest secrets: a safe house, a place where undercover officers working well outside the department's jurisdiction could lie low and coordinate surveillance. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the NYPD, with training and guidance from the CIA, has monitored the activities of Muslims in New York and far beyond. Detectives infiltrated mosques, eavesdropped in cafes and kept tabs on Muslim student groups, including at Rutgers.

In that suspicious apartment, NYPD officers were doing things that skirted or outright flouted the bounds of legality:

The NYPD kept files on innocent sermons, recorded the names of political organizers in police documents and built databases of where Muslims lived and shopped, even where they were likely to gather to watch sports. Out-of-state operations, like the one in New Brunswick, were one aspect of this larger intelligence-gathering effort. The Associated Press previously described the discovery of the NYPD inside the New Jersey apartment, but police now have released the tape of the 911 call and other materials after a legal fight.

Read the rest here.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at July 25, 2012, 5:31am