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An informant recruited by the New York Police Department to collect information on suspected Islamic militants has quit and denounced his police handlers, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.
The informant, a 19-year-old Bangladeshi native, was recruited by the NYPD recently as part of an expansive intelligence-gathering program the department launched after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. His assignment was to make contact with suspected Islamic extremists
"I was jus (sic) of pretending to be friends with ya cuz I honestly thought i was fighting terrorism, but let's be real, it's all a [snip] scheme," the informant wrote, according to the source. "It was all about the money," he added.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that candidates to join the force as sworn officers must be U.S. citizens. But he said 20 percent of the department's recruit classes were foreign-born.
Informant: NYPD paid me to "bait" Muslims
A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying incriminating things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press.
Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bengali descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.
"We need you to pretend to be one of them," Rahman recalled the police telling him. "It's street theater."