New Jersey’s attorney general has assured a group of Muslim leaders that a New York City police unit that had surveilled Muslims in the Garden State is no longer operating there.

Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa had met with the Muslim leaders and police officials on Wednesday.

The New York Police Department spying operation, which has been doggedly investigated by The Associated Press, was launched in the wake of 9/11 and used race, religion and ethnicity to create a catalog of Muslim neighborhoods, businesses and mosques. The program is notorious for not having produced a single lead or case involving terrorism.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have defended the program all along. A lawsuit filed against the NYPD related to its activities is still awaiting hearing in the courts.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Muslim college students at more than a dozen colleges in the north-east US were a particular focus of the program which would monitor Muslim students’ websites on a daily basis and monitored Muslim student associations.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie criticized the police department’s operations in the state as did Newark mayor Cory Booker who said in February that he didn’t know about the program that mapped and photographed 16 mosques in Newark and profiled several restaurants.

The NYPD has defended its surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey as legal, and Chiesa has said New York police did not violate New Jersey laws.

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