Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University

Hamzah Al protests in Foley Square in NYC on Nov. 18, 2011, against the reported Muslim surveillance programs of the NYPD and CIA.
Photo credit: Reuters

April 16, 2014 - CISAC, FSI Stanford In the News

Gillum: NYPD decision to disband spy unit may aid counterterrorism

Appeared in The Monkey Cage, April 16, 2014

CISAC fellow Rachel Gillum writes in this commentary that the NYPD's decision to disband its special Muslim surveillance unit may eventually aid in counterterrorism efforts as the Muslim community regains trust and works together with the police to identify possible threats.

Gillum, a doctoral candidate in political science at Stanford, is the principal investigator at the Muslim American National Opinion Survey, which aims to better understand the political attitudes and behaviors of the diverse community of Muslims living in the United States.

She writes: "While terrorism in the U.S. remains a serious threat, the measurable results of the NYPD spying program appear to be less than desirable. In addition to potentially suppressing voluntary assistance from the Muslim-American community, after years of collecting information, the NYPD acknowledged that the unit never generated a lead."