Judge Rules (Duh!) That NYPD Can Spy On Mosques
by IBD Editorials
Jihad: In a major victory for homeland security and a major blow to Islamist apologists, a judge has ruled the NYPD's surveillance of mosques was a lawful effort to prevent terrorism, not a civil rights violation.
Several radical Islamist front groups — including the Muslim Brotherhood-tied Muslim Students Association — accused the NYPD of violating their civil rights through a post-9/11 program that included infiltrating and monitoring mosques to gather intelligence on jihadists and disrupt terror plots.
In 2011 they sued the police department to kill the program and collect damages.
On Friday, a federal judge killed their lawsuit instead.
The decision is a shot in the arm for law enforcement looking for the best ways to protect the nation from another Islamic terror attack. If these pressure groups had succeeded in suing the NYPD, it would have handcuffed cops and given a green light to Islamic jihadists.
Yet the judge agreed with the common-sense logic we've argued all along: Police can't monitor the country for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself — including its places of worship, where too many terrorists are radicalized.
"The motive for the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary law-abiding Muslims," said U.S. District Judge William Martini in his ruling.
After 9/11 — the second Islamic terror attack on the World Trade Center in less than a decade — the NYPD decided enough was enough. Both the 1993 and 2001 plots had connections to area mosques.
So the police commissioner asked the FBI to bug the Masjid al-Farooq mosque, which had a long history of ties to radicals, including Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik convicted of plotting to blow up New York landmarks. The mosque was also linked to other al-Qaida leaders and had raised money for the terror group.
Still, the FBI refused to bug the mosque. So the NYPD started its own surveillance program, secretly labeling entire mosques as terrorism organizations.
It argued radical mosques could be used "to shield the work of terrorists from law enforcement scrutiny by taking advantage of restrictions on the investigation of First Amendment activity."
Muslim activists complained police were discriminating against Muslims anywhere and everywhere.
In fact, internal documents show the NYPD was highly selective in its monitoring, gathering intelligence on only a dozen of the most radical mosques in the area.
Thanks to the program, New York has disrupted 18 major terror plots against the city since 9/11.
Sadly, the same can't be said for other cities where political correctness has trumped effective terrorist-hunting. If Boston authorities had been as proactive as their counterparts in New York, they might have caught the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers at their Cambridge mosque and disrupted last year's Boston Marathon bombing plot.
The usual cry has gone up from Muslim activists, who claim the ruling injures Muslims by trampling on their religious rights.
But the judge ruled the mosque spying program causes no innocent Muslim harm.
Martini laid the guilt for any injury at the feet of the Associated Press, which in 2011 reported on confidential NYPD documents and potentially exposed undercover operatives.
"Plaintiff's alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press's unauthorized disclosure of the documents," Martini asserted.
AP's reporting was shameful. It never bothered to put the program in context of the 1993 and 2001 Islamic terror attacks on New York.
The only thing better than this ruling would have been if the judge had ordered AP to give back the Pulitzer Prize it won for its damaging stories.
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