WASHINGTON — Millions of dollars in White House money is helping pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance.
The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.
Some of that money — it's unclear exactly how much because the program has little oversight — has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers use to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods. It also pays for the computer systems store even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons and social events.