Terror Investigation Underscores Difficult Role for Police In Developing Muslim Sources

September 23, 2009

Author: Ann Rodgers

Source: Daily Press

Wire Service: AP


The arrest of a Queens imam who investigators had considered a trusted partner was a blow in more ways than one for law enforcement.

No matter the outcome, the case is bound to complicate the already fraught relations between American Muslims and the police who rely on them for information.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators have put an enormous effort into cultivating friendly Muslim sources such as the prayer leader, Ahmad Wais Afzali, who has been accused of tipping off a suspect in an alleged terror plot, then lying about it to investigators.

Officers visit mosques, attend national Muslim conventions and very publicly celebrate Muslim holidays. Earlier this month, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly led the annual NYPD Ramadan program for clerics and others at One Police Plaza.