Covert Monitoring of Muslims Yields No New Investigations, Reports Say

By Elizabeth Hagen on August 21, 2012 6:38pm 

A New York City police officer stands on patrol on April 6, 2010 in New York City.
A New York City police officer stands on patrol on April 6, 2010 in New York City.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD’s secret Demographics Unit has not launched a single terrorism investigation in its six years of covertly monitoring Muslim neighborhoods, according to court documents made public on Monday.

Developed with help from the CIA, the unit built databases detailing the lives of Muslim Americans, hoping to find and expose potential terror plots before they could be carried out, according to reports.

Officers compiled information on the home and professional lives of Muslims and went undercover in Muslim student groups, in mosques across the city and even outside their jurisdiction, in New Jersey.

In a deposition in an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit on June 28, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati admitted that the targeted monitoring had never led to a case, according to the Associated Press.

The Demographics Unit is being sued by civil rights lawyers for violating federal guidelines on information gathering.

Despite facing legal scrutiny, the Demographics Unit is still in operation but has been renamed the Zone Assessment Unit. Galati has asserted that they no longer operate outside state lines.

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