The CIA inspector general is investigating whether the agency broke the law by helping the New York Police Department build intelligence-gathering programs that monitored life in Muslim communities, the agency said Tuesday following an investigation by The Associated Press.
Separately, the U.S. government’s top intelligence official conceded that it looked bad for the CIA to be working with city police departments.
“It’s my own personal view that that’s not a good optic, to have CIA involved in any city-level police department,” said James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence. “But I think CIA is going to address that.”
The agency’s unprecedented cooperation with the NYPD was a subject of an eight-month investigative reporting project by The Associated Press. The AP found that NYPD intelligence officers analyzed hundreds of mosques and student organizations, infiltrating dozens of them. Undercover officers eavesdropped in cafes and restaurants and wrote daily reports about what they overheard. The department also maintained a list of 28 countries that, along with “American Black Muslim,” the department labeled “ancestries of interest.”
CAIR ‘Cautiously’ Welcomes CIA Probe of Role in NYPD Mosque Spying
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today “cautiously” welcomed a decision by the CIA to launch an internal investigation into whether that agency broke the law by helping the New York City Police Department (NYPD) engage in widespread religious and ethnic profiling and monitoring of Muslim communities.