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.
The agency’s unprecedented cooperation with the NYPD was part 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.”
A CIA officer, Lawrence Sanchez, helped create and guide these programs. From 2002 to 2004, when these programs were being built, Sanchez was on the CIA payroll and maintained an office at both the NYPD and the CIA’s offices in New York. The programs have continued with at least the tacit support of President Barack Obama, whose administration has repeatedly sidestepped questions about them.
See also “CAIR ‘cautiously’ welcomes CIA probe of role in NYPD mosque spying”, CAIR press release, 13 September 2011