Letter to the Editor: We Refuse To Be Enemies statement on NYPD-CIA within the state of Connecticut

We are writing as members of We Refuse to be Enemies, a coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Connecticut committed to peace and justice, and we strongly condemn the Islamophobic policies, behaviors, and attitudes deeply rooted within New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division (NYPD ID).  The recent report of the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) demonstrates the persistent violation of Muslims’ and liberal activists’ constitutional rights as recently as 2015.  The report is yet another wake-up call regarding the on-going NYPD, FBI, and likely CIA (and worse) surveillance, of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Connecticut.  Especially reprehensible is the undercover intrusion into the constitutionally protected activities of university students and personnel, as well as of people who pray in local mosques.

The post-9/11 NYPD ID was established and conducted in collaboration with the CIA, as exposed, even before this new report, by the Associated Press (AP) series and NYPD Confidential.  The problem is that collaborations with the CIA for ongoing and past domestic operations (NYPD or FBI) are in violation of the National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333, and therefore are illegal.  The NYPD-CIA, in their highly politicized, discriminatory, and illegal operations, target not only Muslims, but also liberal activists.

It would have been alarming enough if the NYPD were conducting these operations and practices only in New York City.  However, not only did/does the NYPD-CIA operate within the jurisdiction of New York City, but also outside of its traditional jurisdiction, all across the region, nation, and even world (International Liaison Program), including the state of Connecticut.  The NYPD ID even had units termed "Out-of-City Units” to conduct documented operations and “visits/letters” in New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut, including “Operation NEXUS”, according to the NYPD ID’s own “Strategic Posture” document, released by Handschu and NYCLU legal efforts.

We Refuse to be Enemies strongly condemns these operations, particularly within the state of Connecticut.  We also condemn activities by all those who collaborate with and enable the NYPD ID, namely several institutions within the state of Connecticut (CT State police) and parts of the FBI.  We know that other states, such as New Jersey, have signed agreements between NYC and their state, to permit operations of the NYPD-CIA within their borders.  Given the established presence of the NYPD-CIA within the state of Connecticut, we have written Governor Malloy et al. to request that the existence and text of any and all agreements between the state of Connecticut and NYC/NYPD be released to the public.

As an Intercept article powerfully illustrates, the NYPD-CIA and its collaborators (including those within the state of Connecticut) have established a systematic, deliberate, and unremitting program of psychological torture against its Muslim and non-Muslim progressive students and citizens.  These abuses include violations of Muslim student privacy rights (FERPA) by academic institutions (e.g., UCONN).  From the mainstream perspective, the NYPD-CIA and its various partners have actually made us less safe by sending responsible law enforcement agents after those with certain political and religious views/beliefs targeted by the NYPD Intelligence Division, diverting their attention and resources from lawful and appropriate police work.

We ask the Governor and his administration to begin to heal the trauma within Connecticut by releasing all information about NYPD-CIA and FBI agreements/operations within the state of Connecticut, and by rescinding all connections and collaboration between NYC regarding NYPD ID and the state of Connecticut.  We call upon the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the CT state legislature to pass, sign, and implement legislation against the NYPD-CIA and other entities operating within its state.  There is a precedent in New Jersey’s 2013 legislation curtailing NYPD and other out-of-state illegal spying, though we assert this legislation does not go far enough to protect the rights of all its citizens.  


We Refuse to Be Enemies, represented by:

Elizabeth Aaronsohn

Joyce C. Rawitscher

Omar Scott Antar