NJ Muslims, officials discuss NYPD surveillance; Kelly defends

March 3, 2012 7:39:31 PM PST
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says his department's monitoring of Muslim college student groups has helped lead investigators to "very dangerous individuals."

In a transcript of his remarks, Kelly defended the NYPD's contentious intelligence gathering in detail during a Fordham Law School alumni luncheon on Wall Street. An Associated Press reporter was denied entry to the event.

Kelly said anyone who suggests the police department's monitoring of websites, visiting of public places or mapping of neighborhoods is "unlawful" has "either not read, misunderstood or intentionally obfuscated" legal guidelines restricting its intelligence activities.

About 60 students and activists rallied outside Saturday's luncheon to condemn the tactics.

Kelly's comments and the protest came after the AP revealed that the NYPD has been keeping a close watch on Muslim student groups throughout the Northeast.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders say New Jersey's attorney general stopped short of promising a formal investigation into New York Police Department surveillance operations in the state during a meeting they characterized as a positive first step.

Leaders from different New Jersey Muslim organizations met with Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and state and federal law enforcement officials for nearly three hours in Trenton on Saturday to demand a full accounting of the NYPD's activities in the state.

Participants in the private meeting say that Chiesa promised he's looking into the matter. But they say he's still reviewing what legal jurisdiction he and other New Jersey law enforcement officials have over the NYPD activities in the state before they decide on taking any official action.

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