The New York Police Department has secretly been conducting surveillance on Muslims in New Jersey and they have done it with the permission of the governor’s office — granted in 2005 by former Gov. Richard Codey, reports

Current state and local officials say they had no idea the NYPD had been working in New Jersey.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and the New Jersey State Police both said they were unaware of the operation. reports: 

The set of executive orders were put on the books in July 2005, following a series of terror attacks that tore through three London subway trains and a double-decker bus. The two orders gave the NYPD open-ended legal authority to operate in New Jersey in limited circumstances, without the need to seek additional local clearance. The orders — Nos. 43 and 44 — can be found on the state government website.

The orders specify the granting of police powers along railroad rights of way and ferry terminals in New Jersey. However, a high-ranking law enforcement source Thursday said the executive orders represented a “legal agreement” that was used to open the door to the NYPD conducting its surveillance operation in the Garden State without having to clear it through local channels.

The NYPD spying on Newwark Muslims is just the latest example of the NYPD gathering intelligence on ethnic communities since the Associated Press published a story in August 2011 that found the NYPD has been spying on Muslim communities.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that the NYPD also had monitored the Internet exchanges and postings of Muslim students on at least 16 colleges and in a number of cases the police sent undercover agents to actively spy on Muslim student associations, known as MSAs.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has submitted Freedom of Information Law requests to obtain public information regarding the sources of funding for these NYPD initiatives.

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