New York City remains the Islamist jihadists' favorite U.S. terrorist target, more than ten years after 9/11. For that reason, the New York City Police Department has set up its own counter-terrorist intelligence operation, with the cooperation of the Central Intelligence Agency. The program has included infiltrating New York's Muslim community and monitoring dozens of city mosques and other gathering places, using plainclothes police officers to gather information about possible terror plots.
After the Associated Press revealed that undercover NYPD officers in a so-called "Demographics Unit" had targeted Muslim communities and houses of worship with the assistance of individuals who had links to the CIA, the Council of American Islamic Relations ("CAIR") sought to shut the police operation down, calling upon the Obama Justice Department to investigate. "This is potentially illegal what they're doing," said Gadeir Abbas, a CAIR staff attorney.
"The New York Police Department is doing everything it can to make sure there's not another 9/11 here and that more innocent New Yorkers are not killed by terrorists," countered NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. "And we have nothing to apologize for in that regard."