The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

May 20, 2013

NYPD messages to Muslim informant: 'Get pictures'

(Continued)

David Cohen, the NYPD's top intelligence official, argued in court documents that he and a battery of lawyers review all investigations. Oversight from outside the department, he said, would make New York a more dangerous place to live.

As evidence that New York was under constant threat of terrorism, he said the suspects in last month's Boston Marathon bombing were headed to Times Square, where he said they might have carried out an attack deadlier than the one in Boston.

Coupled with other thwarted and aspirational plots against New York in recent years, Cohen said the Boston attack showed "the need for a vibrant intelligence program that uniquely addresses the counterterrorism security equities of New York City."

Informants such as Rahman were central to Cohen's effort to identify terrorists before they attacked.

Rahman sent Hoban pictures: Imams. The sign-up list for an Islamic study group. People at rallies and parades. And bags of rice and boxes of Cheerios that his mosque was collecting for the needy.

"This is what they give to each family plus flour, cookies, pudding, and meat," Rahman wrote.

And he collected phone numbers. One belonged to an elderly neighbor who worked in a woman's shelter. Two more were people who signed a petition and were "probably organizing a rally" for Muslims suffering in Myanmar.

Rahman collected information on the Muslim student group at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the non-profit Muslim American Society. Hoban, however, said those groups were never his informant's focus.

Instead, Hoban said Rahman kept tabs on a small group of people. That effort happened to take him into mosques and student groups, Hoban said.

For instance, he said Rahman went to a Brooklyn youth center run by the Muslim American Society "spontaneously." Hoban said he found out about it later.

In one text message, however, Rahman said he was heading to Friday prayers.

"Afterwards I might go to the mas center," he writes, a reference to the center.

"Ok," Hoban responds, "let me know who is there."

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