The Associated Press has a blockbuster of story today. After a Freedom of Information court battle with the New Brunswick, N.J. police, a court ordered the department to release audio tapes the AP had reported on earlier.
As the AP reports, it's tape the New York Police Department did not want you to hear, because it clearly shows that in June 2009 it was operating far outside its jurisdiction.
The call is from a building superintendent who tells the 911 operator that during a routine inspection that happens every five years, he came upon a suspicious apartment. He said the apartment had "no furniture except two beds, has no clothing, has New York City Police Department radios" as well as pictures of "terrorists" and the building next door.
The AP reports:
"The caller, Salil Sheth, had stumbled upon one of the NYPD's biggest secrets: a safe house, a place where undercover officers working well outside the department's jurisdiction could lie low and coordinate surveillance. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the NYPD, with training and guidance from the CIA, has monitored the activities of Muslims in New York and far beyond. Detectives infiltrated mosques, eavesdropped in cafes and kept tabs on Muslim student groups, including at Rutgers."
In this case, the AP notes, neither the FBI nor New Brunswick police knew that NYPD had set up shop outside its jurisdiction.
This latest story from the AP on NYPD surveillance of Muslims. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been an outspoken critic of the surveillance program, saying it amounted to "warrantless surveillance of law-abiding Muslims" that violated their constitutional rights.
A review by New Jersey, however, found that NYPD violated no laws when it conducted this surveillance.