Known as the Domestic Unit, it was widely criticized by civil libertarians for overreaching, spying on Muslim Americans in mosques, schools, and even markets.
“They were spying on students activities in the campuses, they were visiting mosques, they were visiting and spying on business and basically creating a sense of fear among the community, and casting the whole community in a suspicious light,” Dr. Faroque Khan, a board member for the Islamic Center of Long Island said. The Unit which was established in 2003 resulted in no arrests throughout its history.
There’s no official word about the disbanding of the Unit and no reason given. But Khan suggested the decision to shut it down is a reflection of new policies adopted by recently-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s new police commissioner William Bratton.
You can read more about the controversy surrounding the spy program in the Long Island Press.