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Gothamist: Undercover Cop “Converted” To Islam To Spy On Muslim College Students


“Blanket suspicion” of the Muslim community is promoted by our law enforcement agencies under the guise of “security.” They will go to the extent of fake “converting,” without a thought or care for the repercussions this has on Muslims. Muslims will now be wary of converts and others who come to their communities.

Sadly too many Americans think life is like an episode of 24 or Homeland and sadly do not care because it is not happening to them. Maybe a web page should be made posting pictures and profiles of these undercover agents so that Muslim communities can be aware of their aggressive attempts at entrapment before it happens.

By Aviva Stahl, The Gothamist

On the leafy Midwood campus of Brooklyn College, a lecture at the school’s Islamic Society had just ended when a woman stood up and asked to take the Shahada, the Muslim testimony of faith.

Nobody knew the woman with light skin and dark hair, who appeared to be in her twenties. In a voice that lilted up at the end of each sentence, she began professing her new beliefs. “Melike Ser” or “Mel,” was not a student and had no apparent connections to the school, but the students embraced her anyway, excited about her conversion.

This past April, four years after Mel’s public act of faith, two Queens residents, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, were arrested and charged with allegedly planning to build a bomb. The US Justice Department issued a release stating that the women were linked to members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State, and revealed that a Detective from the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau was heavily involved in bringing the women to justice.

Among the ISO members, some of whom ran in the same social circles as Velentzas and Siddiqui, the arrests set off a chain of frantic text messages, phone calls, and Facebook posts: “Mel” wasn’t “Mel.” She was an undercover cop.

Three Brooklyn College graduates who had been close to the undercover officer told Gothamist of the intimate ties she developed with Muslim students, her presence during some of the most private moments of their lives, and the fear they endured when they learned her true identity.

“I felt violated,” said Jehan, 30, who met Mel years ago in the Brooklyn College ISO prayer room. (At their request, Gothamist has used pseudonyms for all the women interviewed.)

“You trust someone, you talk to them. And they were just gathering information about your community.”

While little is known about the case against Velentzas and Siddiqui, including how and why the NYPD came to involve an undercover officer in the alleged plot, it appears that Mel made an aggressive effort to befriend and surveil law-abiding Muslims years before she ever met her alleged targets, and did so at least up until December of 2014, eight months after the de Blasio administration pledged to stop the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of innocent Muslims.

“Muslim New Yorkers are still fighting for basic human rights,” the Mayor said at a Ramadan dinnerat Gracie Mansion in July of last year. “We recently shut down the Demographics Unit at NYPD, which conducted surveillance on Muslim New Yorkers. Because it’s unfair to single out people on the sole basis of their religion.”

Two individuals with close knowledge of Velentzas and Siddiqui’s case confirmed that Mel is the undercover officer identified in the criminal complaint.

Ramzi Kassem is a professor at CUNY School of Law and also directs the school’s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, which provides legal advice to New Yorkers affected by counterterrorism practices.

“For an undercover to be seeded in a community for that long without a specific target raises some deeply troubling questions about the direction of policing in our city,” he said. “Casting blanket suspicion on entire communities does not square with most New Yorkers’ understanding of the police’s role in our democratic and open society.”

Read the rest of the article…

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  • Marinater

    religious extremism happened in colorado last week…and it didnt invovle a muslim

  • Marinater

    before ahmed, what was the last ‘terror’ related incident by a muslim american in the states?

  • Solid Snake

    Didn’t even put up a fight, poor little guy. That’s the fastest smack down I’ve seen in a while.

    Also, it’s news to me that there is some sort of time limit when having a discussion.

    At first I’m like he might just be an emotional islamophobe who really doesn’t care about arguments, then I scrolled down and as soon as I saw the words Reason™, Logic™, Science™ I’m like he’s one of thooose guys, *sigh*.

  • Dr.S

    FBI website to prevent ‘extremism’ targets US Muslims
    Rights groups say Islam-focused interactive website designed for schools amounts to racial and religious profiling.
    Muslim organisations and civil rights groups have criticised a new FBI
    interactive website created to prevent violence in schools, saying its
    focus on Islam is tantamount to racial and religious profiling.

    The website’s nearly exclusive focus on Islam “adds to an environment
    of suspicion rather than fostering one of learning and curiosity,”
    according to Corey Saylor, a spokesperson for the Council on American
    Islamic Relations (CAIR).

    “The game has myopic focus on just Muslims,” he told Al Jazeera.

    One of the website’s scenarios tells users that they should be
    suspicious when an individual with an Arabic-sounding or Islamic name
    mentions going to the Middle East on a “mission”, suggesting that the
    word indicates an intention to engage in violence.

  • Jekyll

    it’s boi lol

  • AJ

    I think that the guy is at work and keeps on slipping brainless one-liners while he works or else he is a complete retard.

  • Marinater

    can’t hold it back anymore?

  • TheSyndicate2006

    Thanks, but we already know what you are.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Thanks for admitting that you lost by forfeit.

  • J Smith

    Okay. If you don’t get it after multiple correction….Let. It. Go.

  • J Smith

    Let’s not.
    Game long over.

  • J Smith

    Beware those that trot out the “hate”accusation. It’s a cover for ignorance and poorly supported opinions.

  • TheSyndicate2006

    Ah the old “I like Muslims but hate Islam” ruse. Classic Islamophobe tactic.

  • Yausari

    This is not childish debate where I say, “You’re stupid!” and you returned, “No you’re stupid!”.

    Don’t try to evade the subject and explain yourself. You stand with facts and logic. Well, you have one claim which is wrong. And I’m assuming this is what you call logic; “…because they do not openly endorse something doesn’t mean they do not support it”, which also works both ways.

  • Marinater

    you got the ‘incorrect assumption’ card too?
    we should start a club..there’s like 4 other people here

  • 1DrM

    Was that response, boy? Nothing of any substance to add as usual. Slither along now, and leave the discussion to the adults.

  • Marinater

    wait..if they do it with donkeys…….is it still doing it in the ass?

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Fine. Let’s say I misread you completely on the sarcasm. I’ll take full responsibility for an incorrect assumption and/or poor inference if that will move this along. My mistake. Sorry.

    So, with that out of the way, for the third time, will you acknowledge my links to fatwas that provide evidence of Islamic tenets and Muslim actions completely counter to your negative view of those two issues?

  • J Smith

    Hmmmm. That such controls work in every other religion with a history of violence?
    As for your parsing of definitions to obfuscate…embarrassing. And I say that as a Liberal.

  • J Smith

    Your incorrect assumption andor poor inference is upon you.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Do you realize that your question could have been read straight or sarcastically?

    But thanks for ignoring my links to many, many fatwas that provide evidence of Islamic tenets and Muslim actions completely counter to your negative view of them. Tell you what: I’ll agree that your question should have been read as sarcastic if you agree that I have provided numerous examples of Islamic tenets and Muslim actions that are contrary to your view that those are “misguided and untrustworthy.”

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