© Ted Shaffrey - Associated Press
This Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 photo shows Jawad Rasul near the City College of New York where he is a student. Rasul’s name ended up in a New York Police Department report after an undercover officer accompanied him and other Muslim students on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York.
New York - One autumn morning in Buffalo, N.Y., a college student named Adeela Khan logged into her email and found a message announcing an upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto.
Khan clicked "forward," sent it to a group of fellow Muslims at the University at Buffalo, and promptly forgot about it.
But that simple act on Nov. 9, 2006, was enough to arouse the suspicion of an intelligence analyst at the New York Police Department, 300 miles away, who combed through her post and put her name in an official report. Marked "SECRET" in large red letters, the document went all the way to Commissioner Raymond Kelly's office.
The report, along with other documents obtained by The Associated Press, reveals how the NYPD's intelligence division focused far beyond New York City as part of a surveillance program targeting Muslims.
Police trawled daily through student websites run by Muslim student groups at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and 13 other colleges in the Northeast. They talked with local authorities about professors 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.
Asked about the monitoring, police spokesman Paul Browne provided a list of 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges in the United States and abroad who had once been members of Muslim student associations, which the NYPD referred to as MSAs. They included Jesse Morton, who this month pleaded guilty to posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV show South Park
. He had once tried to recruit followers at Stony Brook University on Long Island, Browne said.