Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old NYPD informant, was paid by the department to spy and collect information on innocent people, take pictures inside of mosques, and “bait” muslims into saying incriminating things regarding jihad and terrorism. In January, Rahman had been arrested on his third misdemeanor drug charge when an officer approached him in a Queens jail and offered him a chance to “turn his life around.” According to the AP, “the next month…Rahman was on the NYPD’s payroll.”
The fascinating full report extensively details Rahman’s methods of informing to police, including a strategy called “create and capture,” which involved intentionally steering conversations towards terrorism and documenting people’s reactions. Rahman told the AP he received little training, spied on “everything and anyone,” and was never told by the department that he was collecting too much information. All of the scenarios Rahman details are corroborated by text messages between he and his police handler as well as the testimony of former NYPD officials, who said that though they weren’t familiar with the specific case, the tactics Rahman described were often used by informants.
In a situation out of a Joseph Heller novel, Rahman says he once realized another NYPD informant was spying on him, not realizing that Rahman was also a double agent. Eventually, Rahman grew tired of keeping tabs on his friends and acquaintances, came to believe that his work was “detrimental to the Constitution,” and resigned from his post.
“I was an informant for the NYPD, for a little while, to investigate terrorism,” he wrote in a confession of sorts on Facebook earlier this month. Ostensibly, his work had helped to bring down a few terrorists, he wrote, “but I doubt it.”
(Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr)