Muslim groups and civil rights activists across the US are furious and have demanded the immediate resignation of the New York Police Department commissioner, Ray Kelly, after reports of secret surveillance of some mosques by the NYPD emerged.
In a joint statement on "NYPD Surveillance of Tri-State Mosques," prominent Muslim organisations and civil rights activists have demanded immediate cessation of the surveillance activities over the mosques.
The statement released on Friday, February 3, called for external investigation of the policies and practices employed by law enforcement agencies.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been conducting secret observation of mosques in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, according to a confidential report obtained by the Associated Press.
The secret document dated May 15, 2006, showed that the NYPD specifically focused on the Shia Muslim community and infiltrated mosques with plainclothes officers.
The 10-page document titled "U.S. Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City," outlines plans to investigate ties between local mosques, Iran and other groups that the NYPD considers as potential threats.
The NYPD started its secret observations in association with the CIA after the 2001 terror attacks.
The Palestinian community was also put under observation as the officers suspect terrorists among them, noted the report.
The document is in absolute contrast with the statements of New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who stated that the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Kelly has also said the police go only where investigations leads them, the Daily Mail reported.