NYPD disbands Muslim spy unit...finally

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The New York Police Department has abandoned its ultra-secret program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods for the purposes of gathering intel on possible terrorist plots.

The Demographics Unit, as the squad was referred to as, had a simple but ingenious plan, eavesdrop on Muslims where they ate, prayed and shopped in order to find the next Osama Bin Laden. The detectives were instructed to build detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the NYPD said.

The squad, later renamed the Zone Assessment Unit, also infiltrated Muslim student groups on college campuses and collected names, phone numbers and addresses of those who attended.

The decision to disband the squad could be a sign that the NYPD's new commissioner, William J. Bratton, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering techniques his predecessor embraced. The biggest reason for the disbanding of the elite squad was probably the fact that the unit failed to produce any leads in all its years of operation.

Good news for the NYPD though, they can get back to what they do best, harassing people.


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