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The NYPD Has Secretly Labeled Mosques As Terrorist Organizations

The move allows authorities to record sermons, spy on imams, and investigate anyone who prays there without evidence of criminal wrongdoing, reports The Associated Press.

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This means the NYPD can potentially investigate any worshipper at the mosque. It also means they can plant informants to spy on imams and record sermons without evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Members of a Muslim congregation pray during a Jumu'ah prayer service at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge mosque on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The New York Police Department targeted this mosque as a part of a terrorism enterprise investigation beginning in 2003, spying on it for years. The mosque has never been charged as part of a terrorism conspiracy.

Since 9/11, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen "terrorism enterprise investigations" into mosques allowing surveillance to continue for years even though the mosques have never been charged with operating as terrorist enterprises.

These revelations were part of documents obtained by the AP and part of the new book, Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden's Final Plot Against America written by AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman.

"I haven't seen the story, but they're hyping a book that's coming out next week," Kelly told MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. "If it's a reflection of the article, then the book will be a fair amount of fiction. It will be lots of quotes from unnamed sources."

In response to whether the NYPD labels mosques as terrorist organization, Kelly said:

"We follow that to the stipulation and it authorizes us to do a whole series of things. Certainly investigations are part of it. We follow leads wherever they take us."

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at

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