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Intelligence versus evidence-gathering
There is a new brouhaha stirring among civil libertarians and Islamic organizations in light of the recent Associated Press story regarding the working relationship between the New York Police Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. The article focused on the intelligence division of the NYPD and the deputy commissioner who runs it. David Cohen is a former career employee of the CIA, who was appointed by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in 2002.
Terms like "rakers" and "mosque crawlers" were bantered about in the article, which painted a picture of unrestrained spying on the citizenry by the government. The authors, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, described a super-secret section of the intelligence division called the "Demographics Unit" whose responsibility was to send undercover officers into predominantly Muslim neighborhoods and gather information by observing the neighborhood.
Immediately following the story's release, several spokesmen for the Council on American Islamic Affairs (CAIR), and the Islamic Leadership Council voiced their outrage at what they termed "profiling." CAIR staff attorney Gadeir Abbas went so far as to call on the Justice Department and the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the NYPD.
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