Top Menu

FBI: Stop Spying on American Muslims

Craig Montielh, Wanna-be FBI Infiltrator

It is high time the FBI stop spying on American Muslims, as recent op-eds, comments from leading Muslim organizations and leaders and former intelligence officials reveal, spying is an ineffective tool that runs counter to anti-Terrorism efforts.

Instead of fostering better relations with Muslims, it creates and perpetuates an atmosphere of distrust that drives further away the number one resource –the Muslim Community– in combating terrorism and threats to our security.

Wajahat Ali writes piercingly on the topic,

Time for FBI to stop spying on American Muslims

(Guardian)

The recent arrest of the potential Christmas tree bomber is reflective of the FBI’s myopic strategy of using glitzy, expensive sting operations and dubious confidential informants to further erode Muslim American relations instead of concentrating on effective partnerships to combat radicalisation. The FBI is promoting the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old Somali-born teenager accused of attempting to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, as a triumph of effective law enforcement. Instead, the operation reeks of gratuitous self-adulation, requiring 6 months of time and precious expenditures to “uncover” a dummy terrorist plot wholly scripted and concocted by the FBI in the first place.

Although many argue that this was simply entrapment, evidence does indicate that Mohamud became increasingly radicalised and voluntarily continued with the FBI’s fake terror plot. Regardless, CAIR attorney Zahra Billo told me, “The FBI seek out troubled people – nobody is arguing that some of these individuals aren’t deeply troubled – and then enable and facilitate their aspirations. It is the FBI’s job to stop operational terrorists. It is not the FBI’s job to enable aspirational terrorists.”

Attorney General Eric Holder recently suggested the use of such sting operations were “part of a forward-leaning way” in which law enforcement could proactively find those individuals committed to harming Americans, and a study revealed that 62% of terror prosecutions relied on confidential informants. But recent episodes suggest these tactics are neither “forward-looking”, nor effective. Instead, they contribute towards a deepening, polarising wedge between law enforcement officials and some of their most important assets in the war against extremism: Muslim American communities.

Recently, a former FBI confidential informant, Craig Monteilh, humorously codenamed “Oracle”, revealed he was paid $177,000 tax-free by the FBI to infiltrate and entrap a southern California Muslim community. The convicted forger, who went by “Farouk al-Aziz”, was served with a restraining order by the mosque after he repeatedly pestered attendees with absurd conversations about engaging in violent jihad. Not to be deterred, the FBI heavily relied upon Oracle’s superlative evidence, consisting of taped conversations, to indict an Afghan-American language instructor for allegedly making false statements regarding his ties to terrorists. Moreover, prosecutors alleged he was the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden’s security coordinator.

Surely, this bombshell discovery paved the way for a successful prosecution and conviction? Nearly a year and a half later, the judge agreed with the prosecutors to dismiss the case citing lack of an overseas witness and “evidentiary issues”. The result is a widening distrust of the FBI, since “the community feels betrayed,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic shura council of southern California, an umbrella group of more than 75 mosques.

In the deeply flawed 2005 Lodi terror case, the FBI boasted of capturing two, alleged high-level terrorists, Hamid and Umer Hyatt – Pakistani father and son immigrants, who drove ice cream trucks for a living – based on the evidence of an unreliable Pakistani-American informant, codenamed “Wildkat”. Indeed, his fact-finding lived up to his name, since he told the FBI he saw al-Qaida’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, at his Lodi, California mosque. Although the FBI [thankfully] conceded his reporting as false, they nonetheless proceeded to pay him nearly $300,000 to infiltrate the sleepy Muslim community and scour for terrorists. His taped conversations with Umer Hyatt reveal him badgering and allegedly conning Umer to make incriminating statements. Furthermore, videotapes of the Hyatts’ absurd alleged “confessions”, which former veteran FBI agent James Wedick Jr reviewed and concluded were a result of illegal questioning and coaxing, nonetheless convinced a jury to convict Hamid of providing material support to terrorists and making false statements to the FBI.

Aside from a miscarriage of justice, perhaps the most poisonous result of such belligerent law enforcement procedures, is a “chilling effect” on the Muslim American community, in which citizens legitimately feel fear and alienation from, and a deepening mistrust of, their government, as a result of such harassment. “Time and again, Muslims prove themselves to be good and smart when it comes to reporting potential crimes. The problem with this method of law enforcement is that strains the very relationships that are critical to effective community policing,” says Billo.

In a country where 60% of its citizens claim to not know a Muslim and 45% regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, these self-aggrandising displays of “successful” prosecutions also contribute to the volatile climate of anti-Muslim bigotry and reactionary rhetoric. Recently, Glenn Beck delved into his hyperactive, paranoid imagination to produce the utterly baseless statistic that nearly 10% of Muslims are terrorists. Although many of Beck’s audience will not question the veracity of his “facts”, a comprehensive study undertaken by Duke University reveals that the number of radicalised Muslim-Americans remains very small. The study reports that “Muslim American communities have been active in preventing radicalisation… This is one reason that Muslim American terrorism has resulted in fewer than three dozen of the 136,000 murders committed in the United States since 9/11.”

Thus, a Senegalese Muslim immigrant was the first to witness and report failed jihadist Faisal Shahzad’s burning car in Times Square. A Muslim American community in Virginia went to local law enforcements and the FBI after discovering troubling videotapes left by five youths who allegedly went to Pakistan to commit jihad. A convert to Islam tipped off the FBI about the Christian militant group, the Hutarees, who were planning a terrorist attack on American soil. Even the Nigerian underwear bomber’s own father warned British authorities that his son was radicalised and could potentially harm himself and others.

Undoubtedly, radicalisation and terrorism are real threats, which afflict all US citizens, regardless of race or religion. Perhaps the FBI should now cease treating most Muslim American citizens as potential suspects, whose privacy rights and civil liberties are now curtailed in clumsy ways – such as faulty GPS tracking devices sloppily attached on their cars. Perhaps the FBI needs to spend its considerable (taxpayer-paid-for) resources to re-engage them as partners and allies – instead of contributing to the heightened climate of fear and paranoia by employing shady informants with cheesy, comic-book codenames.

, , , , , , , , , ,

  • DrM

    @mubin sheikh,

    I see you almost 4 months to reply in a lame attempt to get the last word. As I said earlier the case against you is solid, and it doesn’t a PhD to set people up and then play hero. At this point you’re repeating yourself, coke head.

    “Dr. M – stop symptahizing with terrorists – it’ll just get you in trouble.”

    Yawn. But I don’t sympathize with you or the terrorists you work for. Given your criminal history I’m pretty sure you’ll end in prison at some point, betrayed by the scum you work for. Good luck not being traded around for a cigarette in the joint.

  • Mubin Shaikh

    They will deny deny deny right to the end.

    BTW – you don’t use articles BEFORE the case has ended to render a verdict — you use the information released AFTER all trials : http://www3.thestar.com/static/toronto18/index.html

    *Plot was ALREADY in effect BEFORE Mubin Shaikh – so how is it humanly POSSIBLY they were entrapped? all 18 just “magically” found guilty and even some PLEADING guilty … they plead guilty to make believe charges???

    Dr. M – stop symptahizing with terrorists – it’ll just get you in trouble. ;)

  • abdullah

    Heck I just wish they would give me the chance to make money for doing what I do anyway I spend more time in the masjids than Most Imams am Accepted worldwide and could be like a freaking Muslims 007 and get paid for it I would not feel bad if a foolish brother got arrested for talking about being a terrorist maybe it would teach him not to be stupid and talk about stuff best kept to himself if your going to commit a crime fyi telling people will get you caught by some enterprising brother in need of some spare change hey feebs contact me

  • DrM

    @Adam,

    My concern is with what Mubin Sheikh did, not what he could have done. The link to the documentary I posted should be enough evidence that this guy cannot be trusted. Not all Islamophobes are created equal, some have shorter careers then others. He may not be as large a con artist as Irshad Manji or Tarek “T-Fat” Fatah, but he’s still guilty of partaking in a bogus fishing expedition.
    I suspect we haven’t heard the last of Mubin Sheikh, he’s a young guy and will no doubt figure out ways of earning fast money at someone else’s expense. Cocaine isn’t cheap.

  • Adam

    @ Rocky

    Firtly, the fbi didn’t actually reject CAIR.

    And even if they did, it means NOTHING.

    The FBI is grossly bi-polar.

    They bring in guys like Robert Spencer to speak to them as an ‘expert in islam’.

    Even bringing in dishonest Daniel Pipes is better than spencer, as pipes actually has academic knowledge of islam(albiet often abused)
    Yet the Gellers, the fake terrorist/fake ex-muslims(walid Shoebat) often are brought in as ‘experts’ and consultants.

    Granted, the FBI also has unbias and very informed/knowledgable spreakers tackling the subject of islam and terrorism speak for them.

    But the fact they even consider bringing men like spencer and geller into speak shows bi-polar nature of the organization.

  • Adam

    I often read your blog Dr.M, but this time i have to disagree with you.

    Ive been talking to Mubin on facebook for a few months. He seems to be genuine in his intentions. He seems to truly hate terrorism and loves islam.

    I don’t know about the cocain addiction, but if he REALLY wanted money, he would have cashed in on his role in bringing down the toronto 18 and joined the ranks of Irshad Manji and Asra Nomani by writing some stupid book like “INSIDE ISLAM: HOW I TOOK DOWN TERRORISTS ISPIRED BY ISLAMIC TEACHINGS!!!”

    But he didn’t.

    If he REALLY wanted money, Bill Maher would bring Mubin on his show and kiss ass like he did with Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    But he didn’t, because Mubin refused to join these hate mongers, even though he could have made a huge profit on this all.

    But he didn’t. He continued to create distinctions between political terrorism and Islam, and how the issues are not islam.

    I have seen him argue forcefully with Tarek Fatah and Mona Eltaway, particularly when Tarek Fatah would brand peaceful conservative muslims as ‘islamists’ simply because they are conservative.

    I also looked at some of the links(the ones i can examine in school) and while certainly there is evidence of foul play, it seems the dishonestly was more in the hands of the institution it self than Mubin in particular. He was one player in a huge game. The articles themselves point out how Mubin was in the Dark for alot of things.

    At the very least, give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I will look at the other links in more detail once I get the opputunity.

  • DrM

    @Rocky

    Wrong again. You have nothing but contempt for the facts, bigot. I don’t have friends at CAIR, but they are a hell of a lot more trustworthy then the unemployed losers, drug addicts, criminals, and other charlatans with a political axe to grind the FBI pays for their bogus fishing expeditions. It was CAIR that cut ties with the FBI, not the other round, and rightly so.
    The only people who throw the “blame America first” label around are dishonest, uneducated, talk radio listening wingnuts who can’t stomach the culture of corruption in this country being exposed. “Freedom of speech” only for you and no one else. American exceptionalism much?
    Well too bad, because I’m a TRUTH first kind of guy with ZERO tolerance for liars.
    Don’t like it? No one cares, slither back to Geehad Watch.

  • Awesome

    Awesome – How can you entrap a group of 18 people at one time?

    Well, you can’t do it all at once, but you can do it over a period of time. Plus, given that some of them didn’t even know what was going on, it’s likely they were psyched into it.

  • DrM

    @Rocky Sore,

    Wrong. You have nothing but contempt for the facts, bigot. I don’t have friends at CAIR, but they are a hell of a lot more trustworthy then the unemployed losers, drug addicts, criminals, and other charlatans with a political axe to grind the FBI pays for their bogus fishing expeditions. It was CAIR that cut ties with the FBI, not the other round, and rightly so.
    The only people who throw the “blame America first” label around are dishonest, uneducated, talk radio listening wingnuts who can’t stomach the culture of corruption in this country being exposed. “Freedom of speech” only for you and no one else. Well too bad, because I’m a TRUTH first kind of guy.
    Don’t like it? No one cares, go crying back to Geehad Watch.

  • Khushboo

    Au contraire Rock! They seem to be in communicado.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20101130/pl_usnw/DC08958

  • Rocky Lore

    DrM, your friends at CAIR are not to be trusted. Why else did the FBI cut ties with CAIR? Of course, you being a Blame America Firster, you defend a criminal who killed two FBI agents.

  • Syed

    One of the things thats right about Canada is that if you are wrongly persecuted, you get a big payout in the end. The ending of one article is telling:

    Abdelhaleem has his own question. “How big is my lawsuit against the government?” he asks with a laugh. “My lawyer says $12 million. I can’t believe this happened to me. This is like winning the lottery.”

    I too hope the truth is eventually revealed.

  • DrM

    @Syed,

    We’re all entitled to our own opinions, but NOT our own facts. All your questions will be answered in the following documentary, these are the FACTS Mubin Sheikh and his handlers don’t want you to know :

  • Al-Sanoussi

    It was not 18 people all at once, a wide dragnet was used to justify and sensationalize the issue. 18 accused vs 4 is a vast difference. Even Mubin himself stated that some of them were innocent yet he went ahead with it to get his drug money. The case began crumbling before the courts:

    http://www.encyclopediecanadienne.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0013241

    “Seven of the 18 accused are no longer facing charges.”

    http://www.encyclopediecanadienne.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0013241

    “As confident as they are, though, the prosecution also understands that these men are not one and the same. Their media-approved moniker – the “Toronto 18″ – is hugely misleading. Even if you ignore the fact that the group has shrunk to the “Toronto 11,” those who still face charges played very different roles in the RCMP’s version of events. Some were leaders. Others were followers. A few fell somewhere in between.” and

    “In fact, Maclean’s has learned that if the Crown has its way, it will sever the remaining 10 adults into two separate trials, starting with the most serious suspects first: four men charged in the alleged plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto. Forget the training camp. Forget the gun smuggling, the storming of Parliament, and all that tough talk about how “Rome has to be defeated.” The outcome of this case (not to mention the reputation of Canada’s anti-terror cops and spies) hinges on the “Toronto 4″ – a core group of young, educated men whose former lives once seemed so ordinary.

    Zakaria Amara, a 20-year-old gas station attendant and father of a young daughter.
    Saad Gaya, an 18-year-old honours student from suburban Oakville, Ont.
    Saad Khalid, a 19-year-old business major at the University of Toronto.
    And Shareef Abdelhaleem, a single, self-made entrepreneur who enjoys the odd drink. And joint.”

    http://www.macleans.ca/canada/features/article.jsp?content=20070910_109132_109132&page=2

    “The fact that this guy is a cocaine addict in this context, I think it’s large,” Sapiano says. “It provides extreme motivation for him to fabricate. A cocaine addict, what does he need? Cocaine. What does he need for cocaine? Money. What’s this guy getting from the police? Money. Based on what? The quality and the size of his information.” -Edward Sapiano, defence lawyer representing Yasin Abdi Mohamed, one of the accused.

    http://peacetimes.net/2009/10/interview-with-cheryfa-jamal-wife-of-toronto-18-suspect/

    Interview with the wife of one of the accused who’s life you destroyed.

    And there’s more, so stop the charade about loving your country and wanting to protect it. Many Muslims are grateful for Canada for allowing us to live in peace and security. We do not want harm to come to our adopted homeland. We also don’t appreciate idiots like yourself that cause mistrust and suspicion that feed the ongoing paranoia against Islam. This also leads to the current neo-conservative right-wing Canadian government to justifying its mistreatment and disenfranchisement of Muslims (Mahr Arar, Hassan Diab, Omar Khadr, Abousfian Abdelrazik, Suaad Hagi Mohamud, Abdihakim Mohamed, etc…).

  • mmsays

    Once again the US shows that they know nothing about other cultures/religions/races, they go by generalizations, and nothing more.

    The US is in shambles, the economy is in the toilet, they have a war they will never win, and yet, they can manage to pay stock broker salaries to criminals to entrap innocent muslims.

    Rome didn’t fall in a day, but I am sure they didn’t even screw up like this.

  • Syed

    Awesome – How can you entrap a group of 18 people at one time?

  • Awesome

    The Toronto plot was an obvious case of entrapment, on the part of both Mubin Shaikh and Shaher Elsohemy. In fact, most of these terror plots are cases of entrapment, all for the sake of money and politics.

  • Mosizzle

    By the way, anyone who prevents a terrorist attack that would have killed lots of people is a hero. But entrapment is not cool, it destroys the lives of the young men involved.

  • Mosizzle

    Is this the same Mubin Shaikh?

    http://www.macleans.ca/canada/features/article.jsp?content=20070910_109132_109132

    “Some are convinced that it was Shaikh who urged them to act, then sat back and counted his cash while the others went to jail. In April, his reputation took another well-publicized hit when Toronto police charged him with assault after he allegedly shoved two Grade 7 schoolgirls.

    Then there was the cocaine. Lots of cocaine. In a series of interviews with Maclean’s, Shaikh admits, for the first time, that the burden of being Canada’s most famous mole became too much to bear. And when it did, he turned not to God, but to hard drugs. “

  • Syed

    DrM and Sanousi – You are entitled to your opinion. But I do not think that Mubin Sheikh entrapped the Toronto 18. You can entrap one or two people, but eighteen is a bit incredulous! He infiltrated the group that was already formed at CSIS’s request and exposed them before they could harm anybody. I haven’t read or heard anything that proves the contrary.

    Mubin believes he saved Canadian Muslims from a great calamity and I do not doubt that as well. That was what I meant earlier when I said that effective policing comes from within the community (unlike the comedic antics of Monteilh).

    Mubin – really! You believe DrM and Sanoussi are terrorists? Why don’t you report them – you might get an extra $300,000 ;). Don’t go overboard – being outspoken in defending oneself is not terrorism or fitnah. You should know that better than most here.

  • DrM

    @Mubin Sheikh,

    Obviously the people who own you will insist you did nothing wrong. The case against you is solid, you can’t refute any of the links Sanousi posted.

    “btw – the Judge in the case is PAID also – the journalists who wrote the articles, ALSO PAID……..your MOTHER and FATHER get paid to work too don’t they or lemme guess, they do it for free?”

    Being paid to work is different then then being paid to pretend to be something you’re not.

    “How about your local IMAM – does he lead prayers for free?”

    Imams are paid to lead salah, not lie and entrap people. You’re not an Imam, you’re worse then a prostitute.

    “You are offending Islam GREATLY by your blind hatred for ALL things Western”

    What hatred of all things western, liar? By standing up for our rights against so called intelligence services waging war on the Muslim community?

    “ALLAH has blessed you by allowing you to be here — is this how you repay Him? With your fitnah and terrorism? Aoudhubillah!”

    The only fitna and terrorism here was done by you, you filthy munafiq. I’ll speak the truth no matter where I am and regardless of the price I have to pay. Enjoy the fame and money while it lasts, bastard. Just remember that one day you’ll be in another court, in front of another judge, and on that day يَوْمَئِذ ٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا those who lined your pockets won’t be able to help you.

  • Mubin Shaikh

    Sanousi and Dr. M:

    COURT BASED EVIDENCE OF THE TORONTO CASE:
    http://www3.thestar.com/static/toronto18/index.html

    NO ENTRAPMENT:
    http://www.thestar.com/article/607467

    YOU WERE SAYING something now?

    btw – the Judge in the case is PAID also – the journalists who wrote the articles, ALSO PAID……..your MOTHER and FATHER get paid to work too don’t they or lemme guess, they do it for free?

    How about your local IMAM – does he lead prayers for free?

    Damn hypocrites. Keep your head in the sand – see how far you get. You are offending Islam GREATLY by your blind hatred for ALL things Western. You should try going to Middle East with your trash — see how long you last.

    ALLAH has blessed you by allowing you to be here — is this how you repay Him? With your fitnah and terrorism? Aoudhubillah!

  • DrM

    @Mubin Sheikh

    Are you the same scumbag who entrapped those young men in Toronto? If not, my apologies.

    The FBI is a terrorist organization, and should not be trusted. Rocky bore and Geehad bobby as usual have nothing of any relevance to add. Leonard Peltier knows how the FBI operate and is in prison because of it. As I.f. Stone said ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE and the history of the FBI since the days of J.E. Hoover is well known to do what they think is necessary to get “their” men/women. Catch somebody in the act or set them up to catch them, does the public know or even care? They are doing their job as the public is led to believe. The FBI has a dark side more than anybody knows. I may have to put up a post on keeping FBI skunks out of our Masjids.

  • Dawood

    Couldn’t have put it better Farlowe – a truly sad state of affairs and I hope the result for all involved becomes more positive than the other outcome! :(

Powered by Loon Watchers