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It turns out that the monitoring that the New York Police Department carried out of Muslim students was much broader than previously known. Officers kept track of Muslim organizations at schools “far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania,” reports the Associated Press.
Detectives tracked a variety of student websites and recorded names of students or professors that were then passed on to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly even though they hadn’t been accused of any wrongdoing. The police say they felt the need to “get a better handle” on Muslim student associations because 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges had belonged to such groups. The monitoring only took place between 2006 and 2007. The AP had already revealed NYPD placed undercover officers at Muslim student associations in colleges within the city.
While officials have insisted that only those who were suspected of wrongdoing were tracked, it seems clear from the latest reports that lots of effort was devoted going after the most innocuous of clues. One undercover officer went white water rafting in upstate New York with 18 Muslim students and noted that they prayed “at least four times a day.” Separately, a University of Buffalo student was listed on a police report because she forwarded an e-mail about an Islamic conference in Toronto.