NYPD defends use of Muslim informants

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Police Department is taking a tough stance in a legal battle over its use of informants in the city's Muslim community.

The department announced last month that it was disbanding a unit that tracked the everyday lives of Muslims. But it is fighting a lawsuit that challenges its ongoing practice of cultivating Muslim informants to detect terror threats.

The lawsuit was filed last year on behalf of two Brooklyn mosques, an imam and three other plaintiffs. It asks a federal judge to declare the surveillance unconstitutional and halt it. The city has struck back by demanding to see any communications by the plaintiffs that mention terrorism, jihad or the war in Afghanistan.

The plaintiffs say the city is unjustly seeking information that's private.

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