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FBI Framing Young Muslims in Phony Terror Plots?

The FBI has intensified its pursuit of "home-grown" terrorists, allegedly foiling scores of plots around the United States since 9/11 terrorist attacks in America. The question now being increasingly asked is: Would there be many such terror plots to foil without government informants used to create them?

It is believed that foreign-born nationals are easy to recruit as FBI's confidential informats (CIs). If they get reported for any reason by any one and found to have any immigration issues, the police can threaten them with deportation. "You become a CI and you won't be deported, and you might even get paid tens of thousands of dollars if you help catch terrorists", they are told. It's a method the police in the United States have used for decades, according to a piece by Lorraine Adams and Ayesha Nasir published by London's Guardian newspaper.

Targeting of mosques by FBI informants has become quite common in New York and elsewhere in America since the weakening of court protections like the 1985 Handschu v Special Services Division decree that prohibited unfettered police monitoring of religious or political groups. In 2002, when NYPD's Adam Cohen was revamping the intelligence division, the police department sought a weakening of the Handschu decree from federal judge Charles S. Haight Jr who originally issued it, paving the way for the surveillance of Muslims. They won it in 2003.

In the Guardian story, Lorrain Adams and Ayesha Nasir discuss the case of Matin Siraj, a Pakistani-American convicted of terror in 2004. The FBI informant in the case, an Egyptian nuclear engineer named Osama Eldawoody, had been drawn in because he'd run a number of failed businesses out of his apartment, prompting neighbours to call police. The government paid Eldawoody's expenses, as well as $94,000 for his work as an informant on the case. Here's an excerpt from it:

The undercover officer in Siraj's case was a native of Bangladesh who used the pseudonym Kamil Pasha. "He's recruited in the classic NYPD way," Stolar says. "They troll the police academy to find someone who fits the targeted group. They started doing this with the Black Panther party back in the 60s. So they get someone who's, number one, young and number two, not known on the street. And they say. 'We promise you a gold shield, a detective's shield, if you do this.'"

The cop and the CI (Eldawoody) had no knowledge of each other. In July 2003 they began visiting the bookstore where Siraj was working. Eldawoody, 50 at the time, was old enough to be Siraj's father; Pasha, at 23, was more of a buddy. In 72 visits with Siraj, he was able to cull what the jury considered "radical statements", such as Siraj praising Osama Bin Laden as "a talented brother and a great planner".

None of Pasha and Siraj's conversations were tape-recorded and Eldawoody only began recording their encounters after he'd been meeting with Siraj for nine months. It's hard, therefore, to gauge what role the two men played in the conversation about the planned bomb attack.

In April 2004 the images of torture from Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad surfaced. When Siraj saw the image of the hooded Iraqi prisoner, attached to wires, standing on a box, he became hysterical. "Turn it off, Mommy! Turn it off," Siraj shrieked at her. Trial testimony showed that Eldawoody gave him photographs of a Muslim girl being raped by a dog. He is soon discussing the placement of the bomb with Siraj and his co-defendant, a 21-year-old schizophrenic Egyptian who turned state's evidence in the case. Siraj, in this recording, says, "No killing. Only economic problems." He explains: "If somebody dies, then the blame will come on me. Allah doesn't see those situations as accidents." In earlier audio recordings, however, he has said, "I want at least 1,000 to 2,000 to die in one day."

Recently, the FBI arrested the 19-year-old Somali-American Osman Mohamud in Oregon minutes before the annual holiday tree-lighting in Portland's downtown Pioneer Courthouse Square. This case is similar to other recent cases targeting young impressionable Muslim men by undercover F.B.I. agents or paid informers playing the role of terrorists and, as in this case, suggesting terror plots, selecting targets, and supplying fake explosives.

For those who believe that the young Muslims targeted by the FBI for entrapment are pre-disposed to committing violence and therefore fundamentaly different from other law-abiding citizens, I would respectfully suggest a quick review of the findings of Milgram experiements conducted at Yale University in the 1960s that showed how good, honest and decent people can be manipulated by authority figures to do terrible things that they would not ordinarily imagine doing.

As Stanley Milgram also found, there are some exceptions, however, to obedience to authority to inflict harm. When a minority of people are suficiently suspicious of such manipulation by overzealous FBI informants as was the case with an FBI informer in Southern California's Orange County, they refuse to cooperate. Recently, an FBI informant Craig Monteilh sent to infiltrate a California mosque was issued a restraining order after scaring Muslim worshippers with demands for jihad against Americ. He was known to members of the Irvine Islamic Center as Farouk al-Aziz, an apparently devout and at times over-zealous Muslim. But when he began speaking of jihad and plans to blow up, he was reported to the police by community members, according to a report in the Daily Mail. Monteilh, a petty criminal with forgery convictions, claims he received $177,000 tax free in 15 months for his work as an FBI informant.

Here's an RTV video clip on the case of Farooq Ahmed, a Pakistani-American arrested on terror charges in Virginia:

Here are the key points in the above video:

1. It talks about "the Newark Four". These are 4 poor African-American Muslims with neither passports nor driving licenses who had absolutely no capability to commit the crimes they were alleged of and convicted of. The FBI informant Shahid Husain, a Pakistani immigrant, was reportedly paid $100,000 by the FBI for entrapping them. Shahid Husain then became the key prosecution witness in their trial.

2. The FBI agents provided these men fake explosives and a fake Stinger missile and encouraged them to use these on targets selected by them. The 4 were promised cash and cars in exchange by the FBI.

3. It questions whether there would be any of these alleged "terrorists plots" to foil without government informants creating them by using informants.

4. Former FBI agent James Weddick argues that, instead of actively going after the real terrorists who are still out there, FBI is wasting its resources by relying on individuals to make up crime.

6. The reporter in the video says that the kind of entrapment tactics being used by the FBI would be unacceptable any where in Europe.

5. An attorney Steve Dowds shows a big 10 ft wide wall of names of people, mostly Muslims, entrapped by FBI and accuses it of "planting ideology" and providing the details of plots and resources to them before grabbing them and calling them "homegrown" terrorists".

A study by New York University's Center on Law and Security, which tracks terrorism cases, found that of 156 prosecutions in what it identified as the most significant 50 cases since Sept 2001, informers were relied on in 97 of them, or 62 percent. In the current environment of fear of Islamic terrorism in the United States, the entrapment defense has often been raised in jury trials, but it has not so far been successful in producing any acquittal in a post-Sept. 11 terrorism trial, the study found.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Early Anthrax Probe of Pakistani-Americans

Inside the Mind of Times Square Bomber

Home-grown Terror Plots Seen as FBI Entrapment

Milgram's Experiments on Obedience to Authority

Views: 40

Tags: America, Entrapment, FBI, Muslims, Young

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 24, 2012 at 9:03pm

Here's a NY Times story of a police training video promoting hatred against Muslims:

Ominous music plays as images appear on the screen: Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, executed children lie covered by sheets and a doctored photograph shows an Islamic flag flying over the White House.

“This is the true agenda of much of Islam in America,” a narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America. ... This is the war you don’t know about.”

This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.

In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.

A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.

During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.
The film posits that there were three jihads: One at the time of Muhammad, a second in the Middle Ages and a third that is under way covertly throughout the West today.

This is, the film claims, “the 1,400-year war.”

How the film came to be used in police training, and even for how long, was not clear. An undated memorandum from the department’s commanding officer for specialized training noted that an employee of the federal Department of Homeland Security handed the DVD to the New York police in January 2010. Since then, this officer said, the video was shown continuously “during the sign-in, medical and administrative orientation process.” A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said it was never used in its curriculum, and might have come from a contractor.

As it turned out, it was police officers who blew the whistle after watching the film. Late in 2010, Mr. Robbins contacted an officer who spoke of his unease with the film; another officer, said Zead Ramadan, the New York president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, talked of seeing it during a training session the previous summer. “The officer was completely offended by it as a Muslim,” Mr. Ramadan said. “It defiled our faith and misrepresented everything we stood for.”

When the news broke about the movie last year, Mr. Browne called it a “wacky film” that had been shown “only a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual course work began.”
There is the question of the officers who viewed the movie during training. Mr. Browne said the Police Department had no plans to correct any false impressions the movie might have left behind.

“There’s no plan to contact officers who saw it,” he said, or to “add other programming as a result.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 21, 2012 at 7:10pm

Here's a Guardian story on a former FBI informant saying "It is all about entrapment."

Craig Monteilh says he did not balk when his FBI handlers gave him the OK to have sex with the Muslim women his undercover operation was targeting. Nor, at the time, did he shy away from recording their pillow talk.

"They said, if it would enhance the intelligence, go ahead and have sex. So I did," Monteilh told the Guardian as he described his year as a confidential FBI informant sent on a secret mission to infiltrate southern Californian mosques.

It is an astonishing admission that goes that goes to the heart of the intelligence surveillance of Muslim communities in America in the years after 9/11. While police and FBI leaders have insisted they are acting to defend America from a terrorist attack, civil liberties groups have insisted they have repeatedly gone too far and treated an entire religious group as suspicious.

Monteilh was involved in one of the most controversial tactics: the use of "confidential informants" in so-called entrapment cases. This is when suspects carry out or plot fake terrorist "attacks" at the request or under the close supervision of an FBI undercover operation using secret informants. Often those informants have serious criminal records or are supplied with a financial motivation to net suspects.

In the case of the Newburgh Four – where four men were convicted for a fake terror attack on Jewish targets in the Bronx – a confidential informant offered $250,000, a free holiday and a car to one suspect for help with the attack.

In the case of the Fort Dix Five, which involved a fake plan to attack a New Jersey military base, one informant's criminal past included attempted murder, while another admitted in court at least two of the suspects later jailed for life had not known of any plot.

Such actions have led Muslim civil rights groups to wonder if their communities are being unfairly targeted in a spying game that is rigged against them. Monteilh says that is exactly what happens. "The way the FBI conducts their operations, It is all about entrapment … I know the game, I know the dynamics of it. It's such a joke, a real joke. There is no real hunt. It's fixed," he said....


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