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Monday, May 12, 2014
NYPD pressures Muslim immigrants to become spies
The NYPD routinely pressures Muslim immigrants, busted for low-level crimes, to spy at mosques and other community gathering places to make their offenses go away, according to a published report.
Detectives with the Citywide Debriefing Team scour city jails looking for Muslim immigrants they could squeeze to become informants,
according to documents and interviews cited
by the New York Times on Sunday.
The city announce last month that it had disbanded a controversial unit that did direct surveillance of mosques and other community landmarks.
But this practice of recruiting informants from jails is still continuing, sources told The Post on Sunday.
“They’re basically trying to flip them, get information from what they know or what they can know” by working as an informant, a law enforcement source told The Post.
Moro Said, a 57-year-old limo driver and Egyptian immigrant, got picked up after he pulled over to talk to a woman who turned out to be an undercover cop working a prostitution sting.
At central booking in Queens, Said claimed he was pulled from his jail cell and told he needed to spy on a mosque.
“It’s not appropriate,” Said told The Times. “They’re fishing. You’re in trouble with the law and they are the law.”
Said allegedly agreed to do it to placate cops, before he was released.
When cops called him a week later, Said then refused to help.
“I don’t want to be a spy on anybody,” Said said. “I hate spying.”
Bayjan Abrahimi, a food cart vendor and immigrant from Afghanistan, got hauled into jail after a March 2009 dispute over a parking ticket.
Abrahimi, who moonlights as a DJ at Afghan weddings, agreed to help police just so he could get out of jail.
“I saw `OK, OK, OK, because I want to finish, because I want to finish,’ “ Abrahimi said. “At this time, I’m really scared.”
Abrahimi told cops his brother was a taxi cab driver in Afghanistan.
The NYPD found Abrahimi “suitable for assignments locally and outside the city” and described him to have “high potential to be used as an asset,” according to police documents cited by the Times.
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