An undercover agent named “Mel” befriended Velentzas and Siddiqui. (AP Photo/Jane Rosenberg, File)
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For years, a woman named "Mel" mingled with young Muslims in New York, telling them she was a Turkish convert to the faith looking for friends. In reality, she was a cop working for the New York Police Department. Her true identity and the full nature of her work remains a guarded secret, but, thanks partly to social media, she may be unmasked as part of an upcoming trial of two women accused of plotting a homemade bomb attack.The NYPD's top counterterrorism official, John Miller, said in a court filing that revealing her identity and widely circulating her picture could jeopardize ongoing undercover investigations.That's because risks of exposure are real, said a former NYPD undercover in major drug and gun trafficking cases and subject of the recent book "Gunz and God: The Life of an NYPD Undercover" who still uses an alias, Stevie Stryker.Police and prosecutors have revealed in court filings that the undercover agent befriended Velentzas and Siddiqui in 2013 and sometimes wore a hidden microphone to record their conversations.The undercover officer played along, prosecutors said, and talked with them about potential targets.Velentzas, despite taking the woman into confidence, still had suspicions, prosecutors said in court filings. It's unclear how or why the undercover agent sought to befriend the defendants in the first place.
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