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August 31, 2009

Muslim NY cop

Identity theft can affect anyone ... and in many different ways. Here's the story of a NYC cop who just happened to be a Muslim. He also happened to be an identity theft victim which caused him to be the target of Air Marshalls and to lose his gun and badge for more than a year. One of the most amazing things - he wasn't even trying to fly. Here's the story -

"A Muslim NYPD cop is set to sue the city and the feds after he was targeted by air marshals, triggering a year-long probe in which he was stripped of his gun and badge.

Shahin Miah, 32, was eventually cleared of wrongdoing and is back on the job - but the Bangladeshi-born officer says he's tormented by colleagues who call him 'Al Qaeda.'

'I'm a good citizen of this country,' Miah told the Daily News in an exclusive interview.
'All my family are hardworking. We are normal. This only happened because my color is brown and I'm Muslim.'

'Nobody has ever given me an answer - what made them think I was a terrorist?'

The NYPD investigated the rookie because the feds suspected him of overseas money laundering, but it turned out he was the victim of identity theft.

Miah says that's news to him - and insists that if he had not been racially profiled at Kennedy Airport, the entire mess could have been avoided.

It started July 4, 2007, when Miah drove his sisters and nieces to JFK for a flight to London and accompanied them to the British Airways counter.

Two air marshals approached and asked him for ID.

'They laughed at me when I showed my ID, and one guy says, 'I work for the federal, you work for the city - I have more authority than you,'' Miah said. 'He said I looked 'suspicious' and asked me how long I had been in the country.'

They let him leave, then came running in the parking lot and demanded his driver's license, Miah said. He was detained for an hour while they ran his name through databases, he said.
When Miah returned home to Queens, a sergeant from the local precinct showed up and said he'd been notified of the airport stop. The next day, Miah was ordered to turn in his badge and gun while he was investigated.

'It was insulting,' said Miah, whose uncle died working at Windows on the World on 9/11.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the NYPD placed Miah on modified duty because of the feds' suspicions.

'He was modified until it was determined that he was the victim of identity theft, and that someone using his identity was engaged in overseas money laundering,' he said.
A spokesman for the air marshals said racial profiling is not practiced.

Miah immigrated to New York in 1993, served as a police cadet and worked in a youth program for the Queens district attorney before joining the force - his "dream job" - in 2006.
He's assigned to Brooklyn's 75th Precinct and was injured last month capturing a robber.

He intends to sue the city and the Department of Homeland Security for 'the worst nightmare I ever went through in my life,' he said. 'It's like someone on the street making a false allegation against you - but this was the government.'"

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