Moderate Muslim leaders who joined New York City's fight against terrorism were placed under surveillance by the NYPD because of their religion, the AP finds after reviewing secret documents it obtained. Reda Shata, an imam who decried terrorism, invited the FBI and NYPD to speak at his mosque, and even dined with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was monitored by an undercover agent and an informant. Two other officers were assigned to keep tabs on his mosque.
And though Shata's efforts were the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times article, he was designated a "Tier One" person of interest, despite having never been charged with any crime. "What did they find?" Shata asks. "It's a waste of time and a waste of money." Shata's case is not an isolated one: The AP found that of the more than 100 local imams who publicly backed a rally condemning terrorism, more than 30 were included in the NYPD's listing of suspicious people and places in 2006.