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'WALKING CAMERA' AMONG NYC MUSLIMS

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    DETECTIVE WAS WALKING CAMERA AMONG CITY MUSLIMS, HE TESTIFIES William K. Rashbaum New York Times 5/19/06
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2006
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      DETECTIVE WAS 'WALKING CAMERA' AMONG CITY MUSLIMS, HE TESTIFIES
      William K. Rashbaum
      New York Times
      5/19/06
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/nyregion/19herald.html?_r=1&oref=login


      A young police detective testified yesterday at the Herald Square
      bombing plot trial that he was recruited from the Police Academy 13
      months after 9/11 to work deep undercover in the Muslim community to
      investigate Islamic extremists.

      The detective, a Muslim who came to America from Bangladesh when he
      was 7, testified that he was a 23-year-old college graduate when he
      was plucked from the academy in October 2002. He took an apartment in
      Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where, he testified, his assignment was to be a
      "walking camera" among Muslims there.

      He said he had no regular contact with the department other than
      through his handler, to whom he reported by e-mail at first. During
      two years of living in Bay Ridge, he was involved in "numerous"
      investigations, he testified, and was at times shadowed by a field
      team to ensure his safety.

      The Police Intelligence Division's program to post detectives overseas
      has been widely publicized. But this detective's testimony yesterday
      in federal court in Brooklyn provided the closest look yet at how the
      division is using undercover investigators to penetrate mosques,
      bookstores and other places where Muslims gather in the city.

      His testimony confirmed what many Muslims have believed since the
      Sept. 11 attacks: that law enforcement agencies have worked to
      infiltrate their community during terrorism investigations. It also
      revealed the extraordinary steps the department took to create a
      fictitious identity so a Muslim investigator could live for years in
      an insular neighborhood where people have become highly suspicious of
      the authorities.

      Beyond the detective's testimony, police officials yesterday would not
      discuss the scope of the program and provided no details about its
      structure, its guidelines or its successes or failures. Several
      officials, however, suggested it was in its early stages. The witness
      was identified only by a pseudonym ­ Kamil Pasha ­ in order,
      prosecutors said, to protect continuing investigations.

      The detective was the final witness at the four-week trial of Shahawar
      Matin Siraj, 23, a Pakistani immigrant who is charged with plotting to
      blow up the Herald Square subway station in 2004. His lawyers have
      argued that he was entrapped by a paid police informer, a 50-year-old
      Egyptian-born nuclear engineer who they say was the driving force
      behind the plot. They have argued that their client was an inept dupe
      who was not predisposed to commit an act of terrorism until the
      informer inflamed him. (MORE)

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/nyregion/19herald.html?_r=1&oref=login

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