The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the elite Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. Police talked with local authorities about professors 300 miles away in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students' names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.
Detectives trawled Muslim student websites every day and, although professors and students had not been accused of any wrongdoing, their names were recorded in police reports. Asked about the monitoring, a police spokesman provided a list of 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges in the US and abroad who had once been members of Muslim student associations, saying this justified the police action. But the chaplain of a Muslim student association disagrees: "I see a violation of civil rights here," he says. "Nobody wants to be on the list of the FBI or the NYPD or whatever." (Read more NYPD stories.)