Will the NYPD's Muslim Spy Scheme Threaten Investigations?

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No surprise here: Spying on Islamic communities might make Muslims mistrust police, creating difficulties in gathering intel, the FBI's top cop in New Jersey says.

Religion News Service (via Washington Post) reports that Muslims are now wary of law enforcement after reports revealed that the NYPD carried out extensive surveillance, going so far as to stakeout entire neighborhoods.

"They're not sure they trust law enforcement in general, they're fearing being watched, they're starting to withdraw their activities," Michael Ward, director of the FBI's Newark division, told reporters.

"It hinders our ability to have our finger on the pulse of what's going on around the state, and thus it causes problems and makes the job of the Joint Terrorism Task force much, much harder," Ward said, according to The Associated Press (via NPR.)

Paul Browne, NYPD spokesman, defended the department's tactics, saying that Muslims and police have a great rapport.

Solid partnerships with Muslims, Browne said, prompted the arrest of several suspected terrorists in New Jersey and elsewhere. Browne then called out Ward, saying that he recently gave props to two NYPD officers for helping in a Jersey terror case, the AP notes (via San Francisco Chronicle.)

Runnin' Scared will keep you posted with any updates.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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I think this scheme is very unfair for our Muslim brothers and sisters. If I were in their shoes, I would also mistrust the police. You can't blame them to be scared of being watched. I think the cops should come up of another way to investigate. What they're doing is unjust.

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