Shamiur Rahman claims that the New York City Police Department paid him to spy on mosques and “bait” Muslims into talking about jihad and terrorism.
Rahman agreed to become an informant in January of this year because he had several misdemeanor arrests for marijuana and feared he would spend extra time in jail, reports the Associated Press.
Rahman told the Associated Press that police said to him: "We need you to pretend to be one of them. It’s street theater.”
The police officers told him to use a strategy called 'create and capture' to lure Muslims into talking about terrorism.
Informants who trawl the mosques are known informally as 'mosque crawlers.' They tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees. The programs were built with help from the CIA.
Rahman said he spied on mosques, Muslim businesses and student groups. He shot video and photos of Muslim worshippers, license plate numbers and imams.
Rahman was paid up to $1,000 a month until he ended his undercover job in September: “I hated that I was using people to make money. I made a mistake.”
NYPD Assistant Chief Thomas Galati testified earlier this year that a program to infiltrate Muslim communities had not generated a single lead or terrorism investigation.