CHICAGO — The tip was a surprise when it arrived on the desk of Ted Wasky. Had it not come, the former FBI agent fears five Muslim men in northwest Ohio might have pulled off a plot to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
The source of the tip? A fellow group of Muslims living in Toledo.
The tipsters trusted the police enough to help the FBI infiltrate the group with an informant, and Wasky said that relationship was the “best thing that ever happened” to the local joint terrorism task force when he was the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
That’s what police investigators, prosecutors and mayors in cities nationwide say the New York Police Department is putting at risk by conducting clandestine surveillance of Muslims in the city and across the Northeast. All cite their experience in serving communities that are home to large Muslim communities and other minority populations that have become isolated by events.