Seems like an NYC runs its own COINTELPRO:
“A mosque is different than a church or a temple,” said a former senior NYPD official involved in the effort. “It plays a bigger role in society and its day-to-day activities. They pray five times a day. They’re there all the time. If something bad is going to happen, they’re going to hear about it in the mosques. It’s not as sinister as it sounds. We’re just going into the mosques. We just want to know what they’re saying.”[…]
Surveillance turned out to be habit-forming. Cohen and Sanchez’s efforts also reached beyond the Muslim community. Undercover officers traveled the country, keeping tabs on liberal protest groups like Time’s Up and the Friends of Brad Will. Police infiltrated demonstrations and collected information about antiwar groups and those that marched against police brutality. Detectives monitored activist websites and copied the contents into police files, including one memo in 2008 for Kelly that reported the contents of a website about a group of women organizing a boycott to protest the police shooting of Sean Bell, an unarmed black man killed the morning before his wedding: “This boycott was set for May 11, 2008 (Mother’s Day) there will be NO shopping for cards, flowers, clothing, shoes or dining out. Spend time with Mom at home, serve her dinner, or buy her flowers from a black-owned business. We can be effective if we unite in the name of our children.”
There were those in the NYPD itself who’d begun to doubt the program’s efficacy. Hector Berdecia was one of those. A sturdily built NYPD lieutenant with a shaved head and broad, boyish smile, Berdecia inherited supervision of the Demographics Unit in 2006 after a yearlong tour in Iraq with the Army[…]
Some of the rakers in his unit felt conflicted. They were cops, eager to protect the city. But they also knew they were building files on fellow Muslims—immigrant business owners and members of their communities who’d done nothing wrong.
Berdecia reassured them there was nothing insidious about what they were doing. They weren’t collecting anything that couldn’t be observed by any other member of the public.
“At the very least, we can eliminate this guy from our list if he’s not a terrorist,” Berdecia told his men. “And we can find out who the terrorists are. And that’s your job.”
The truth, though, was that raking didn’t eliminate anybody from a list. It just expanded the NYPD’s files. One Brooklyn business that the NYPD labeled a Bangladeshi hot spot, for instance, was a restaurant named Jhinuk. The list of “alleged activities” included being a “popular location for political activities” and attracting a “devout crowd.”[…]
Because the rakers never received specialized training, their reports contained numerous errors. Sephardic Jews and Lebanese Christians were mistaken for Syrian Muslims.
Also, for the record: some catholics go to mass daily and many protestants tend to ministries daily and many jewish folks are in synagogues multiple times a week and many muslims are active in mosques but aren’t there 5 times a day. It’s just a different way of saying: churchgoers be all like: “I am going to mass every day”. and mosque goers be like: [angry voice] “I am going to mosque every day”.