The Girls’ School that Terrifies Ray Kelly

This is the Al Muslimaat Academy, a school for fifth through twelfth grade girls certified by New Jersey’s Department of Education. It is one of the many locations in Newark spied on by Ray Kelly’s spies in 2007.

They considered it a “Madrassah.”

They even mapped it out, along with a different school teaching first through fourth graders. I guess in case they needed to find a bunch of Muslim kids quickly.

Today’s installment of the AP’s CIA-on-the-Hudson series takes us out of the city altogether, to Newark, where the NYPD mapped out the Muslim community without even informing with Cory Booker, Newark’s Mayor, first.

According to the report, the operation was carried out in collaboration with the Newark Police Department, which at the time was run by a former high-ranking NYPD official. But Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, said he never authorized the spying and was never told about it.
“Wow,” he said as the AP laid out the details of the report. “This raises a number of concerns. It’s just very, very sobering.”

Booker says he will investigate.

After the AP approached Booker, he said the mayor’s office had launched an investigation.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” he said.

Now, the NYPD might be forgiven for looking for terrorists in Newark. After all, in the summer of 2001, the 9/11 hijackers used Newark as a staging ground to prepare for their attack.

But they didn’t, as far as we know, frequent mosques at all. They spent time in cheap motels and cheap restaurants, gyms, and cybercafes. They had the operational security to do most of these things in separate places, heading to Patterson and Wayne.

They certainly didn’t plot out 9/11 in a girls’ school.

All of which shows, yet again, how futile this whole program is and was. Futile, that is, if you’re actually trying to stop terrorism. It’s perfect if you want to cow members of an entire faith by criminalizing their schools, butchers, and places of worship.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

3 replies
  1. Bob Schacht says:

    Actually, I think it should be a fixture of our foreign policy to provide funding for schools for girls in most of the third world, rather than looking for dirt on schools for girls here in the U.S.

    And by the way, Madrassah just means “school,” only its in another language, so it sounds spooky to those who see spookiness everywhere anything foreign shows up.

    Bob in AZ

  2. EH says:

    Among “-ile” words, I would use “puerile” instead of “futile.”

    I wonder if they called them madrassas before Obama was elected.

  3. MadDog says:

    While the NYPD’s efforts as an intelligence service are seemingly oblivious to the US Constitution, we might be able to be a wee bit thankful that they also seem to be amateurs.

Comments are closed.