With the federal authorities continuing their investigation of an alleged terror plot with roots in Denver and Queens, some New York City Muslims have accused the feds and NYPD of racial profiling. Queens Islamic activist Monami Maulik said over the weekend, "An entire community and people and religion should not be profiled and characterized as terrorists because of certain investigations."
The feds have only charged Najibullah Zazi, a former Queens resident who sold coffee from a cart in Lower Manhattan and more recently drove a shuttle bus in Denver, on a single terrorism conspiracy charge, but have said other arrests will come. Zazi, who was allegedly trained in explosives by Al Qaeda, apparently went to Pakistan with two NYC men—" a yellow-cab driver who took the test to become a city firefighter and a Queens College student majoring in economics." While the men, both in their mid-20s, deny any involvement, the FBI and NYPD have searched their homes and they remain under surveillance.
Another focus of surveillance is Naiz Khan, whose apartment Zazi stayed at in early September—he says he knows nothing of a supposed terror plot and lamented to the Times, "If we go back to Afghanistan, Taliban will kill you for being American. In Pakistan, we don’t have a good life. Now they say we are terrorists here? Where should we go?"
One community organizer told WNYC that "more than a hundred women said their husbands had been stopped by the police." Ayesha Mahmooda of Desis Rising Up and Moving said, "When they’re going to work, they’re being questioned, they’re being ID’ed, they’re being asked by police enforcement where are you going, are you involved in any kind of attacks or plotting anything.]" The FBI issued a statement saying, "The FBI does not engage in racial or ethnic profiling. With predication, we investigate individuals or groups of individuals for criminal conduct or threats to national security."