The controversy over the NYPD’s surveillance of muslim groups gets the courthouse steps protest treatment in Manhattan this morning, as a man arrested for an alleged terror plot has his next hearing.
Ahmed Ferhani, 26, of Queens is accused of plotting to blow up synagogues and the Empire State Building. He was arrested in May, 2011 with another alleged plotter. Police seized handguns and bullets in a raid. Critics claim Ferhani was “entrapped and framed” by the police.
The FBI reportedly refused to get involved in the case because the agency didn’t trust the NYPD’s informant. Moreover, cops allegedly knew Ferhani had mental problems, and had been placed in psychiatric wards 30 times. They also claim the NYPD surveillance program is a violation of court-ordered limits on its power.
The NYPD surveillance of muslim student groups and other organizations here and outside the city has drawn considerable controversy. But it also has been vigorously defended by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg.
The protest starts at 9 a.m. at 100 Centre Street.