Throughout the tri-state area, Muslims experienced near constant surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks. Much of it can be attributed to former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is now running for the Democratic nomination for president. In a recent interview, Bloomberg doubled down on the surveillance of Muslims during his time as mayor. With Muslims already explicitly targeted under the Trump administration, Bloomberg’s comments present concerns that he may continue the same trend.
During Bloomberg’s three-term tenure as mayor, the New York Police Department deployed a wide range of tactics targeting Muslim communities. In 2011, the Associated Press published a series of articles outlining how the NYPD gathered intelligence on over 250 mosques, student groups, and more. The department collaborated with the CIA to deploy undercover agents as well as placed informants in mosques and kept tabs on just about everybody; NPR reported that an undercover police officer once accompanied a group of Muslim college students on a whitewater rafting trip.