Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FBI Entrapping 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 informants (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


Saeed said...

Asa. This policy of entrapment of Muslims is being carried out in the US, UK and Canada, if not in other countries. In the case of Canada, you can google "Toronto 18" and see a similar profile. Makes one reconsider who were the real beneficiaries of 9/11 and similar acts. Wsa.

Anonymous said...

Well well well so muslims are not predisposed to be hostile towards non muslims(kuffar)???

they are not predisposed towards violence towards US for its alleged atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan?

opinion polls and an education and society which teaches hatered of the infidel suggest otherwise.

For all the collateral damage the fact is there has not been one single successful terror attack on US soil.
That's very creditable given how big the US is and how every major terror group wants to create havoc in it.

It is very easy to blame others.

Mayraj said...

Even Kabul Press raised this subject. Meanwhile Janet Napolitno will have terror announcements in major public venues.
Meanwhile that explosive laden house in San Diego was discovered by accident!


FBI’s phony terror plots— a dangerous distraction from the real thing
U.S. undercover agents incite domestic terror bombings so they can easily solve them

satwa gunam said...


Why blame FBI ? Why does the people agree to bomb ? If contact by a informant for entrapment, the victim can cooly say that he is not interested in violence.

Fundamental problem is that mulsim love to hate others. Those follower feel other muslim as brothers and they have been chosen for jihad. This is precisely what is exploited by fbi and there are enough community people to work for them.

If two things can happen from muslim they will save themself and their brothers :

1. Informant : donot go on the wrong side of government, so where is the question of blackmail. Further why does a true muslim want to live with kafirs.

2. victims : If they are lovers of peace, even if there are bought out informant they need not bother.

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "Why does the people agree to bomb ? If contact by a informant for entrapment, the victim can cooly say that he is not interested in violence."

Your asertion goes against well-established scientific studies like Stanley Milgram's work at Yale, in which very few people did as you suggest.

Here is a description of it by a Berkeley sociologist:

Why is it so many people obey when they feel coerced? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram’s classic yet controversial experiment illustrates people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power. It is my opinion that Milgram's book should be required reading (see References below) for anyone in supervisory or management positions.

Milgram recruited subjects for his experiments from various walks in life. Respondents were told the experiment would study the effects of punishment on learning ability. They were offered a token cash award for participating. Although respondents thought they had an equal chance of playing the role of a student or of a teacher, the process was rigged so all respondents ended up playing the teacher. The learner was an actor working as a cohort of the experimenter.

"Teachers" were asked to administer increasingly severe electric shocks to the "learner" when questions were answered incorrectly. In reality, the only electric shocks delivered in the experiment were single 45-volt shock samples given to each teacher. This was done to give teachers a feeling for the jolts they thought they would be discharging.

Shock levels were labeled from 15 to 450 volts. Besides the numerical scale, verbal anchors added to the frightful appearance of the instrument. Beginning from the lower end, jolt levels were labeled: "slight shock," "moderate shock," "strong shock," "very strong shock," "intense shock," and "extreme intensity shock." The next two anchors were "Danger: Severe Shock," and, past that, a simple but ghastly "XXX."

In response to the supposed jolts, the "learner" (actor) would begin to grunt at 75 volts; complain at 120 volts; ask to be released at 150 volts; plead with increasing vigor, next; and let out agonized screams at 285 volts. Eventually, in desperation, the learner was to yell loudly and complain of heart pain.

At some point the actor would refuse to answer any more questions. Finally, at 330 volts the actor would be totally silent-that is, if any of the teacher participants got so far without rebelling first.

Teachers were instructed to treat silence as an incorrect answer and apply the next shock level to the student.

If at any point the innocent teacher hesitated to inflict the shocks, the experimenter would pressure him to proceed. Such demands would take the form of increasingly severe statements, such as "The experiment requires that you continue."

Results from the experiment. Some teachers refused to continue with the shocks early on, despite urging from the experimenter. This is the type of response Milgram expected as the norm. But Milgram was shocked to find those who questioned authority were in the minority. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the teachers were willing to progress to the maximum voltage level.

Riaz Haq said...

Yet another FBI informant-led terror plot involving a 21-year-old Muslim Antonio Martinez of Baltimore. Here is today's report in Baltimore Sun:

A 21-year-old Baltimore man has been arrested for attempting to blow up a military recruitment center in Catonsville with a fake bomb supplied by federal agents.

Federal authorities say Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, attempted to detonate what he believed to be a vehicle bomb this morning at the Armed Forces Career Center in the 5400 block of Baltimore National Pike.

Court records paint Martinez as obsessed with Jihad and intent on punishing the military. He praised Nidal Hassan, the U.S. Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood, and discussed obtaining weapons and shooting up military installations, records show.

In November, he was observed on a public computer in Woodlawn viewing videos of Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi martyrdom. He discussed in public postings on his Facebook page how the "reign of oppression is about 2 cease."


The case appeared similar to a recent bomb plot in Portland, Ore. The day after Thanksgiving, a Somali-born teenager was arrested there after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, authorities said. He thought he was going to bomb a crowded downtown Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Like the Baltimore County case, it turned out to be a dummy bomb plot put together by FBI agents. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after authorities said he planned the details of the plot, including where to park the van filled with explosives to hurt the most people. Mohamud allegedly believed he was receiving help from a larger ring of jihadists as he communicated with undercover agents.

Court records show Martinez saw reports of the Oregon case and became agitated, fearing that he was being set up. He and the confidential source had a meeting on Nov. 27, where he advised that he still wanted to go forward. The source told him to sleep on it and call him the next day.

On Nov. 28, Martinez phoned the source and said: "I'm just ready to move forward."

Earlier, they had discussed how a bomb could be constructed so it would blast into the recruiting station. Martinez pointed out that others who had attempted explosions and tried to flee had been caught boarding planes, and the confidential source offered that they could travel into Canada before proceeding into Europe and eventually Afghanistan.

Martinez also said that he wanted to learn how to build a bomb so he could teach the "next 'young brother' who decided to fight," records show.

Anonymous said...

Excellent insight as always, Riaz Sahib...

Obviously you will have ignorant people who will try to wash this away, trifling this investigation as a conspiracy theory...But that is to be expected as they remain propagandized and as a result oblivious and ignorant to facts...

However, thankfully there are many educated and far seeing people who understand the issue of entrapment and what it means to others in the future and try to analyze it and prevent it for fear of abuse of power...

Vigilance is always needed..

Riaz Haq said...

Faisal Shehzad, the passionate but thankfully incompetent Times Square bomber, is an example of a genuine terror plot not created by FBI informants. Here is how he rationalized his involment to a judge in New York, as reported in The Guardian:

After several questions, (Judge) Cedarbaum asked, "Why do you want to plead guilty?"

"I want to plead guilty and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times forward because until the hour the US pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking US, and I plead guilty to that.
"Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan," he said uncertainly. "I… with them, I did the training to wage an attack inside United States of America."

"I see. How to make a bomb or how to detonate a bomb? What were you taught?"

"The whole thing: how to make a bomb, how to detonate a bomb, how to put a fuse, how many different types of bombs you can make." ...

"Is there a particular Taliban?" Cedarbaum asked at one point.

"Well, there are two Talibans; one is Taliban Afghanistan, the other is Taliban Pakistan. And I went to join the Taliban Pakistan."

"I see. Has that always been there?"

"It recently… they… the organisation was made… was made, like, six years ago when the first time Pakistan took a U-turn on the Taliban Afghanistan, and obviously the tribal area in Pakistan is the… was the harbouring for the mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan. So the Pakistan took a U-turn and they became allied with US and they went against the Taliban and start fighting and killing them. So during that time, the Afghan Taliban made a group to encounter the Pakistan government forces, and that's when Taliban Pakistan came into being. Six years ago, maybe."
... And he chose Times Square on a Saturday night so he could maximise the mayhem? "Yes. Damage to the building and to injure or kill people. But again, I would point out one thing in connection to the attack, that one has to understand where I'm coming from, because this is… I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier. The US and the Nato forces, along with 40, 50 countries, has attacked the Muslim lands. We… " Cedarbaum interrupted: "But not the people who were walking in Times Square that night," she said slowly. "Did you look around to see who 'they' were?"

"Well, the people select the government. We consider them all the same. The drones, when they hit…"

"Including the children?" the judge interrupted Shahzad once again.

There was a long pause.

"Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq," he finally said, "they don't see children, they don't see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It's a war, and in war, they kill people. They're killing all Muslims."

"Now we're not talking about them; we're talking about you."

"Well, I am part of that. I am part of the answer to the US terrorising the Muslim nations. I'm avenging the attacks because the Americans only care about their people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die. Similarly, in Gaza Strip, somebody has to go and live with the family whose house is bulldozed by the Israeli bulldozer. There's a lot of aggression…"

"In Afghanistan?"

"In Gaza Strip."

"I see."

"We Muslims are one community. We're not divided."

"Well, I don't want to get drawn into a discussion of the Qur'an."

satwa gunam said...


Everybody loves to be in a powerful position. However how is that it is only muslim in america get into the trap. Why it is not happening for any other religious person in usa

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "Everybody loves to be in a powerful position. However how is that it is only muslim in america get into the trap. Why it is not happening for any other religious person in usa "

Because Muslims are the only religious group being targeted with FBI informants in almost every mosque in America.

The same thing happenned earlier when only Blacks were entrapped because they were being targeted by the FBI which stopped after the Handschu decree in 1960s prohibiting the targeting of religious and political groups.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...


While I agree with your argument that Muslims are specifically targeted and demonised with wider geo political agenda by some of the "democratic" governments, Gunam poses a very interesting and reasonable question. Let me restate his question without his permission - Why is it that Muslims even if they are targeted or provoked fall for it easily? In India as well, many of the communal violences have been instigated by Hindu nationalists with the intention of creating riots, but if had Muslims been rational and a small, but rather powerful and visible part of Muslims had not been predisposed to violence, would these kind of schemes have worked??

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Why is it that Muslims even if they are targeted or provoked fall for it easily?"

What makes you think they fall for it easily? There are thousands of FBI informants pursuing an equal or greater number of Muslim targets in America's mosques, and yet the number of those entrapped to date is less than a hundred as reported by NYU's Center on Law and Security.

Some teachers in Milgram experiments refused to continue with the shocks early on, despite urging from the experimenter. This is the type of response Milgram expected as the norm. But Milgram was shocked to find those who questioned authority were in the minority. Fully sixty-five percent (65%) of the teachers were willing to progress to the maximum voltage level knowing that such shocks would be fatal.

satwa gunam said...


Interesting view. Even in india there are hindu fundamentalist who are against christian and muslim. Probably even fbi must be aware of it. They gather funds all over the world to do their activity probably in india but they have not started bombing christian nation because north eastern states have become christian majority in a hindu dominated country. Further hindus does not call the non believer as kafir who deserved to be punished is the beginning of all problems.

Nobody hindu any where in the world does riot becuase yoga is banned in many country or spoken against, in even modern western countries.

Even when democractically elected hindu representative thrown out in fuji, there were protest not violence anywhere.

As usual, the tendency is to blame others and this forum is no great exception.

Riaz Haq said...


You are doing exactly what you are accusing Muslims of doing by presenting Hindus and Hinduism with a holier than thou explanation while ignoring the terrible violence committed by Hindus.

What you ignore are the mass murder of Sikhs in 1984, anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 and more recent killings of Christians in Orissa...and a long history of killings of minorities by the Nazi-like Hindu organizations such as the RSS and VHP etc with the active connivance of Indian officials.

In fact, India is much more guilty of discriminating against its Muslim minority than the United States by operating its own Guantamos and Abu Ghraibs on Indian soil torturing Indian citizens.

Since Sept 11, 2001, America's 'global war on terror' has provided a convenient cover to the Hindutva lobby and to fiercely anti-Muslim elements within the Indian state machinery to launch a concerted campaign of terror against Muslims. Large numbers of Muslims in various parts of India continue to languish in jails on trumped-up terror charges, suffering brutal torture as well as routine insults to their religion by police officials. Meanwhile, Hindu terrorists, often in league with the police and the state machinery, are allowed to run riot, unleashing violence and bloodshed on a frightening scale, while the state, the police and the courts take no firm action against them.

In addition, you don't seem to understand that India is the only nation in the world where caste-based Aparthied is widely practiced, and a massive female genocide is unfolding.

Over 250 million people are victims of caste-based discrimination and segregation in India. They live miserable lives, shunned by much of society because of their ranks as untouchables or Dalits at the bottom of a rigid caste system in Hindu India. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in slave-like conditions, and routinely abused, even killed, at the hands of the police and of higher-caste groups that enjoy the state's protection, according to Human Rights Watch.

The land of former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi is killing its daughters by the millions. Economically resurgent India is witnessing a rapid unfolding of a female genocide in the making across all castes and classes, including the upper caste rich and the educated. The situation is particularly alarming among upper-caste Hindus in some of the urban areas of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, specially in parts of Punjab, where there are only 300 girls for every 1,000 boys, according to Laura Turquet, ActionAid's women's rights policy official.

satwa gunam said...


I am aware of the riots and the political contents of the riots. But these anti-minority riots espcially christians are not getting converted to bombing wherever christians are there. That is precisely what muslim are doing. There is a problem in palestine and everywhere innocent people are bombed. That is precisely where the doubt starts casting. further it precipitates into discrimination which has started in the west in a great manner where every small religious identity is questioned and crushed.

satwa gunam said...


For heaven neither i nor india has any no business to blame muslims in india or outside.

But the muslims have to do soul searching to say that they are not getting along with any body nor within themself.

See the irony yourself, the country divided by caste is developing peacefully where as the country formed for muslim which talks about universal brother hood is caught in tribal war against each other.

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "See the irony yourself, the country divided by caste is developing peacefully where as the country formed for muslim which talks about universal brother hood is caught in tribal war against each other."

All it means is that Muslims are not willing to quietly accept the kind of social injustices and deep inequities that are acceptable in India because of Hindu fatalism.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...


"What makes you think they fall for it easily? "

Well, many things. Some of the high profile tensions that involved Muslims may not have been possible at all without the active
"cooperation" of Muslims. eg: Recent ground zero Mosque controversy, flying Imam controversy etc. In India, Muslims are stigmatised as violent and irrational, but this is often possible because there is a small group of Muslims who are willing to play by this. Another example is torching or Christian churches in Malaysia in the wake of controversy over use of "Allah" by Christians. This was exactly a bait by clever Christians and stupid Muslims fell for it and a small but highly visible group of Muslims attacked Churches and it became a feast for Western media. This is despite the fact that in the West, Christians do not want to use the term Allah for God and want to distance themselves from it and many Western countries do not permit building of Mosque in visible areas. Muslims as the second largest religious group can progress in a way similar to West only if they achieve the emotional and intellectual stability whereby they do not get provoked by a cartoon or any other deliberate assault on them and instead focus on building good institutions in Muslim countries because without rule of law, a society can achieve very little.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Well, many things. Some of the high profile tensions that involved Muslims may not have been possible at all without the active
"cooperation" of Muslims. eg: Recent ground zero Mosque controversy, ...."

Zen: I think it is you who is falling easily for the current wave of anti-Muslim propaganda by accepting that a small violent minority in any religion or nation is sufficient to define the entire group.

By this logic, all Tamils should be painted as violent suicide bombers because of the actions of LTTE, and all Irish Catholics should be branded as terrirists based on the ations of IRA terrorists, all Jews should be condemned for the brutal actions of Israeli military and violene committed by Bracuch Goldstein and other settlers.

As to the Ground Zero mosque "controversy" you refer to, there was no controversy until a right-wing Islamophobic blogger decided to make it one. Please watch the extensive CBS 60 Minutes report on it to understand how the issue has been exploited by right-wing politicians.


Another example of a created issue: Do you know that Oklahoma, a heavily Republican state, recently passed a law prohibiting "Sharia Law", a cynical move by the right-wing to mobilize its voters.


Anonymous said...

All it means is that Muslims are not willing to quietly accept the kind of social injustices and deep inequities that are acceptable in India because of Hindu fatalism.

Notice the irony..Poor Pakistani muslims don't get excited by the fact that literacy in Pakistan is < 50% or the bulk have to live at the whim of a medevil feudal lord..because err they are not fatalistic.
But get terribly excited when someone draws a cartoon in Denmark or something happens in Palestine.

Whereas Hindu India is agressively industrializing and has done away with feudalism and has a robust if flawed democracy which routinely ejects unpopular governments because...we are fatalistic.

I think you are as much influenced by anti non-muslim(specially Hindu) prejudice as you accuse non muslims of being vis a vis muslims.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report on Attorny General Eric Holder's recent speech to Muslim lawyers:

Mr. Holder was given a standing ovation as he took the stage, and many applauded during his speech. But the room fell silent for several minutes while Mr. Holder defended the sting operation in an Oregon bombing attempt last month, calling it a “successful undercover operation” and not a case of entrapment. Those who think otherwise, he said, “simply do not have their facts straight.”

Ms. Khera said the group had invited the attorney general several months ago. She portrayed the Muslim-American community as torn by a mistrust of law enforcement because of what it sees as intrusive surveillance and harassment — like sending informants into mosques — and by its concerns about anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Mr. Holder said the cooperation of Muslim-Americans had been essential in preventing terrorist attacks. He said that the Justice Department was focusing on “violence, threats, vandalism and arson against Muslims and Arab-Americans,” and that in the last fiscal year federal prosecutors won convictions of more hate-crime defendants than any year but 2000.

“I believe that law enforcement has an obligation to ensure that members of every religious community enjoy the ability to worship and to practice their faith in peace, free from intimidation, violence or suspicion,” Mr. Holder said.

But he also rejected criticism of some counterterrorism techniques used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including sending informants into mosques in search of would-be terrorists and creating elaborate sting operations enabling them to carry out fake attacks using dummy bombs.

Ms. Khera emphasized that Muslim Advocates recognized that “there are actual threats that do exist and as Americans who care about the country, we want law enforcement to be effective.”

But the complex “entrapment operations,” she contended, may be getting people involved in terrorism who otherwise would not have done anything. She also argued that the operations divert investigators from “actual threats” and stoke “anti-Muslim sentiment.”

At a reception after the speech, many in the audience voiced their gratitude for Mr. Holder’s presence, saying it would help rebuild trust between U.S. law enforcement and Muslims. “This is a positive step toward engaging a vital community and perhaps one of the most important partners in combating extremism and terrorism in America,” said Wajahat Ali, 30, a lawyer and playwright from Fremont, Calif. “He said exactly what needed to be said. Now those words need to be translated into action.”

In his remarks, Mr. Holder said that stings had been used for decades against many types of crimes. And he defended the investigation last month in Portland, Ore., in which a young Somali-American man, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after law enforcement agents said he tried to trigger what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

“I make no apologies for the how the F.B.I. agents handled their work in executing the operation that led to Mr. Mohamud’s arrest,” Mr. Holder said. “Their efforts helped to identify a person who repeatedly expressed his desire and intention to kill innocent Americans.”

He added: “But you also have my word that the Justice Department will — just as vigorously — continue to pursue anyone who would target Muslims, or their houses of worship.”

“I grew up during the civil rights era and I’m aware how the civil rights community was infiltrated by provocateurs and agents who sought to undermine the legitimate struggles of the movement,” said Abu Qadir Al-Amin, 60, an African-American imam from Vallejo, Calif. “So my antennae are up and I try to educate the Muslim community so that they don’t put themselves in a vulnerable position if someone comes along suggesting they do something illegal.”

Zen, Munich, Germany said...


"Zen: I think it is you who is falling easily for the current wave of anti-Muslim propaganda by accepting that a small violent minority in any religion or nation is sufficient to define the entire group. "

No - on the contrary, I am just saying that the current anti Muslim bigotry that is fed by a group of you-know-who-control media by playing into the fear of non Muslims is possible only because a group of Muslims, however small they are, fill that steroetyped role. The majority of Muslims are completely incapable or unwilling to come up with a rational response to anti Muslim bigotry.
You have partially answered my question in previous comment by bringing Irish terrorists or Jews or Tamils being not stereotyped. That is because they are rational and do not play into the hands of people who want to stereotype them. Jews provide a good example as after WW2, they never really acted against Germany in a conspicuous way. But they made sure that Germany in post WW2 paid heftily for their previous crimes and also made sure that Germany do not say anything against the interests of Jews or Israel. The same can be said of Hindus who migrated to Britain - they may have disliked English, but they were rational enough to make best out of what was offered to them.

If Muslims accept the world order as it is, they will lose some of their identity, but they are incapable of providing an alternative world order of their own, despite their enormous size and geographic reach and access to natural resources. Muslims cannot blame non Muslims always for this pathetic state. Lately, I see some efforts by states like Qatar and Malaysia to address this, but for the moment, I remain a skeptic until I see more evidence..

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Notice the irony..Poor Pakistani muslims don't get excited by the fact that literacy in Pakistan is < 50% or the bulk have to live at the whim of a medevil feudal lord..because err they are not fatalistic.
But get terribly excited when someone draws a cartoon in Denmark or something happens in Palestine."

This is abolute nonsense!
There are very few countries where you see the kind of struggle going on Pakistan. Unlike India, you don't see 85% of Pakistanis ever expressing the kind of aproval that Indians did in a recent poll, in spite of 75% of Indians living under $2 a day (vs 60% in Pakistan), and two-thirds of Indian (vs one-third of Pakistanis) still defecate in the open.

Anon: "Whereas Hindu India is agressively industrializing and has done away with feudalism and has a robust if flawed democracy which routinely ejects unpopular governments because...we are fatalistic."

A very narrow slice of India is industrializing with the rest living in primitive conditions. And the victims of India's caste-based Apartheid are faring far worse in salve-like conditions than Pakistanis living under feudalism.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how the Washngton Post reported US AG Eric Holder's defense of FBI stings against Muslims:

In one of his most pointed and personal responses to allegations that government anti-terrorism tactics are overly aggressive, Holder strongly defended the FBI agents he said are fighting a wave of terrorist plots. Without their efforts, he said in a speech in San Francisco, "government simply could not meet its most critical responsibility of protecting American lives."

Wading into the most controversial recent case, Holder backed the FBI's investigation of an Oregon man charged with trying to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. FBI technicians had supplied the device, leading some Muslims and civil libertarians to question whether agents went too far by training the man for terrorism.

"I make no apologies for how the FBI agents handled their work," Holder said. He spoke in a hotel ballroom before an estimated 300 people invited by Muslim Advocates, a group that itself is suing the Justice Department to learn more about investigative guidelines for FBI agents.

"Those who characterize the FBI's activities in this case as 'entrapment' simply do not have their facts straight - or do not have a full understanding of the law," Holder said. The nation's chief law enforcement official praised FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers while reaching out to Muslims "who say they feel uneasy about their relationship with the United States government."

Holder's speech, the latest in a series of remarks on relations with Muslims, highlighted a national debate over government tactics that has built amid what authorities call the growing threat of homegrown terrorism. In recent weeks, undercover FBI operatives posing as Islamic radicals arrested the Oregon man and a Northern Virginia man accused of plotting to bomb Washington area Metro stations.

In the latest case, a Baltimore construction worker was charged Wednesday with plotting to blow up a military recruiting station in Maryland after the FBI learned of his radical leanings on Facebook. The FBI supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate, federal officials said.

FBI-Muslim relations have periodically been difficult in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as agents reached out to Muslims while also investigating them. Both sides agree that a partnership is critical to increasing mutual understanding and preventing attacks.

Tensions escalated last year after revelations that an FBI informant had infiltrated a mosque in California, seeking to build a terrorism case that later collapsed. Citing that case and what it called a pattern of FBI surveillance, a coalition of leading national Muslim organizations has largely suspended contact with the bureau.

"It's a nonexistent relationship," said Agha Saeed, national chairman of the coalition, the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections.

Justice Department and FBI officials say the California case is not representative of their relations with Muslims and that they have gone to great lengths to maintain good relations with the Muslim community. They say they continue to work closely with Muslims in investigating violence and other hate crimes against them.

Holder highlighted those efforts Friday night before an audience of Muslims, including many legal and business community leaders, at the Westin San Francisco. He said Justice Department and FBI officials are working hard to engage the Muslim and Arab communities through an Arab/Muslim Engagement Advisory Group he established last year.

satwa gunam said...


Justice is killing between shia and suni or between sunni and ahemdiyas.

If that is the fight for justice, i would prefer the fatalist hindus. It has provided the peace for the movement forward over a period of 60 years and the attitude to have justice have created only grave yards in pakistan

satwa gunam said...


"The majority of Muslims are completely incapable or unwilling to come up with a rational response to anti Muslim bigotry"

Best way to describe the attitude of the muslim either in india or else where. It is never open to debate, reform and changes which make the general public feel to easily classify them along with the fundamentalist

"The same can be said of Hindus who migrated to Britain - they may have disliked English, but they were rational enough to make best out of what was offered to them."

True hindus might not like christian but they have the learnt the art of deception from christian and they play along with them. It is like the tom and jerry game and the fun is going on whereas, in my perception muslim are very emotional and non-learning where it is very easy for smart christian / jews to bring them in the eyes of the world as fundamentalist.

Further the hindus has continuously reformed and taken the best out of the christianity being the following :

removal caste [ 6 months non bailable offence, if a sc / st gives a complain against anybody india ]
woman education
equal rights to woman in inheritance.

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "Justice is killing between shia and suni or between sunni and ahemdiyas."

There is a omponent of sectarian strife..but it's only a small component.

The main struggle is against the narrow ruling elite dominating Pakistan that works against the interest of the people...including the fight to bring rule of law, and the revolt against the feudals, and the corrupt officialdom.

satwa gunam said...

Put to rest the press and blog manipulating the death of karkare into a conspiracy.

Don't play politics: Kavita Karkare

Mumbai: Kavita Karkare, the wife of the slain Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, slammed Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Saturday for suggestions that Hindu outfits could have killed her husband, saying parties should stop playing politics around the sacrifice of martyrs.
She said that such statements would only benefit Pakistan, while the need of the hour was to punish the Pakistani terrorists behind the 26/11 attacks.
Mr. Singh had said Karkare had called him hours before the attack and expressed fear for his safety from Hindu fundamentalists.
“This issue should not have been raked up two years after the incident. When he [Karkare] was investigating the Malegaon matter, there must have been some threats from some Hindus. But it is wrong to connect this to the 26/11 attacks,” Ms. Karkare said, adding politicians were always trying to create a rift between religions.

Anonymous said...

A very narrow slice of India is industrializing with the rest living in primitive conditions.

You wish!India's overall industrial growthrate is 16% pa and ALL countries which begin industrializing begin in pockets.

InChina it was along the coasts..
In Germany in was concentrated along the Ruhr valley etc so theres nothing that different about Indian industrialization.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "InChina it was along the coasts..
In Germany in was concentrated along the Ruhr valley etc so theres nothing that different about Indian industrialization."

There is no comparison between India and China....China has industrialzed faster and its economy continues to grow faster than any other country in the history of the world. India is a very inefficient, poor, illiterate and backward society and it is very badly governed compared to China or Germany.

Anonymous said...

There is no comparison between India and China....China has industrialzed faster and its economy continues to grow faster than any other country in the history of the world.

ya ya ya!the whole world talks about India China because of a grand conspiracy I guess...

We are where China was in the late 1990s in terms of Industrial output and per capita income and will in all probability grow faster than it on a continuous basis in the next couple of years as the yuan appreciates,its dependency ratio starts increasing and we sign FTAs with the EU and Japan...

16% pa industrial production growth isn't exactly slow...

History of the world???
the USSR went from a backward agrarian society of world industrial power in 10 years flat 25% per annum growth rate...1928-1938..though at a terrible human cost estimated 10 million Russians died...

China tried to do something similar in the 60s look up 'great leap forward' in which 60 million chinese starved but alas the per capita income actually fell!!

As for Pakistan...:)
Frankly I don't think sugar cement and low end food production should even be called 'industrial' products...

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "As for Pakistan...:)
Frankly I don't think sugar cement and low end food production should even be called 'industrial' products... "

How about autos, steel, pharmaeuticals, chemicals, fertilizer, electrical appliances, aiplanes, misslies, ships, tanks and guns? Pakistan makes all of these?

Do you think sugar and cement factories produce these in Pakistan?

Anonymous said...


Riaz I think what he meant is sugar/textiles/cement/food processing stuff is something like 80-90% of Paki industrial output vs maybe 20-30% for India.

i.e our Industrial base has much longer legs so to speak.

Anonymous said...

I don't think even Riaz will disaagree that we have a much much better industrial base.

Pakistan can't even dream of its own CG or L&T or TATA....

These companies have taken decades of very careful nurturing in a govt-industrialist partnership to become what they are today,the Pakis don't have it in them to take short term pain for long term gain...

We had to make do with Fiat and ambassador and WW2 tech trucks and buses for 30-40 years before TATA,M&M,ALL etc finally learned how to make decent cars,trucks and buises...

PAkis went for the easy way and today they can proudly boast of having scre driver assembly lines of Toyotas etc where the major components engine etc come from abroad...

Anonymous said...

Easy bete :)
We have miles to go before we can rest on our laurels...but yes we are on the right track..and i love this fired up go-getter attitude of our youth today.

Riaz Haq said...

While US President Obama has called on Pakistan to "do more", the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the international community to do more to help Pakistan in its fight against militancy. Here is a BBC report on Wen's address to Pakistani parliament:

Chinese Prime Minster Wen Jiabao has praised Pakistan's efforts in the international fight against terrorism.

In a speech to Pakistan's parliament, Mr Wen also called on the international community to do more to help Pakistan in its fight against militancy.

He spoke two days after a US strategic review of the Afghan war said Pakistan must do more to beat militants.

Mr Wen was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Pakistan aimed at boosting China's main regional ally.

China signed deals worth $10bn during the visit.

Loyal ally

All of Pakistan's ruling and opposition parliamentarians were in attendance as Wen Jiabao took the floor on Sunday.

He was quick to lend his voice in support of Pakistan's efforts against militancy.

Mr Wen's speech was seen as major boost to a key regional ally
Mr Wen said Pakistan had made immense sacrifices in the international fight against terrorism. He said the country's help had also been instrumental in helping to control the growth of terror.

Mr Wen called on the international community to appreciate and support Pakistan in its struggle against this "menace".

He said China remained committed to helping Pakistan through troubled times.

The Chinese premier's comments appear to be aimed at bolstering support for Pakistan.

The country has come under increasing criticism from the West for its alleged support of international Islamic militants.

In this context Mr Wen's visit is seen to be of immense importance.

The two countries reached several deals in the energy and defence sector worth billions of dollars during the tour.

China remains Pakistan's staunchest ally and has often used its international clout to support its perpetually beleaguered friend.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post report on the futility of killing al Qaeda foot soldiers by drone attacks:

CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed at least 581 militants last year, according to independent estimates. The number of those militants noteworthy enough to appear on a U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists: two.

Despite a major escalation in the number of unmanned Predator strikes being carried out under the Obama administration, data from government and independent sources indicate that the number of high-ranking militants being killed as a result has either slipped or barely increased.

Even more generous counts - which indicate that the CIA killed as many as 13 "high-value targets" - suggest that the drone program is hitting senior operatives only a fraction of the time.

Senior Pakistani officials recently asked the Obama administration to put new restraints on a targeted-killing program that the government in Islamabad has secretly authorized for years.

The CIA is increasingly killing "mere foot soldiers," a senior Pakistani official said, adding that the issue has come up in discussions in Washington involving President Asif Ali Zardari. The official said Pakistan has pressed the Americans "to find better targets, do it more sparingly and be a little less gung-ho."
The intensity of the strikes has caused an increase in the number of fatalities. The New America Foundation estimates that at least 607 people were killed in 2010, which would mean that a single year has accounted for nearly half of the number of deaths since 2004, when the program began.
Overall, the foundation estimates that 32 of those killed could be considered "militant leaders" of al-Qaeda or the Taliban, or about 2 percent.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an Op Ed published in The Guardian today on King's hearings:

Despite a recent study showing that 40% of all extremist plots in America were thwarted as a result of Muslim American help, King ignores this evidence and stubbornly asserts there is a "lack of cooperation" by Muslims with law enforcement. The intent, scope and framing of King's hearing have been criticised by law enforcement officials, counter-terrorism professionals, civil rights organisations, interfaith leaders and political commentators as being misguided, ineffective and potentially dangerous.

Undeniably, violent extremism poses a threat to America, and a few radicalised Muslims have committed or attempted to commit acts of violence. Evidence includes Nidal Hasan Malik, who shot 13 soldiers last year, and Faisal Shaizad, the failed Times Square bomber in New York. However, the majority of terror plots in America since 9/11 has been committed by non-Muslims, especially rightwing extremists and white supremacists. Examples include the failed Martin Luther King parade bomber in Washington state; Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona shooter who killed six people, including a judge, and Joseph Stack who flew his plane into an IRS building last year. In fact, a near-record 1,000 hate groups currently exist in America, and, as the Southern Poverty Law Centre reports, most are a result of "radical rightwing expansion, represented by hatemongers, the nativists and the antigovernment zealots".

So, why is King's focus solely on Muslim Americans, especially when Muslim American terrorism and involvement in extremism has significantly decreased, according to a recent Duke University study?

Unfortunately, history has shown that some people would sacrifice the rights of minorities for the illusion of feeling safe, as witnessed when innocent Japanese Americans were interned in camps during the second world war and viewed as a subversive fifth column, purely on account of their ethnicity. At a time when 60% of Americans don't know a Muslim and nearly 50% hold a negative view of Islam, it is unsurprising that 52% of Americans are comfortable with King's hearing being focused solely on Muslims.

As a Muslim American, and a member of America's most diverse religious group, I can testify that we are not a monolithic entity who share a collective consciousness and are automatically alerted to the perverse inclinations of all radicalised loners. Furthermore, Muslim Americans do not have specialised knowledge or heightened awareness of extremist threats – just as Italian Americans do not have innate knowledge of the Mafia's criminal operations. Perhaps King should invite the cast of Jersey Shore and the Sopranos to field that inquiry.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Jack Hunter titled "Peter King's Radical Ignorance" in The American Conservative magazine:

This is not unlike when we are told that terrorists simply “hate our freedom,” as President Bush and his Republican supporters like Rep. King have always considered a satisfactory explanation for our problems with radical Islam. Yet using two of the very examples cited at King’s hearings—Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad—what can we deduce about what actually causes domestic Islamic terrorism? If virtually every would-be domestic Islamic terrorist cites the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as their primary motivation—which virtually all of them do including Hasan and Shahzad—and yet we are still fighting wars in both countries allegedly in the name of fighting terrorists… might it be time to reexamine and perhaps reassess our foreign policy? Are we attacking the problem of radical Islam or helping to create it? Has the War on Terror actually become a war for it?

Yet few dare raise these most pertinent questions. When longtime DC-based tax activist Grover Norquist suggested in January that conservatives should begin to have a conversation about the wisdom of our war in Afghanistan, he was swiftly denounced by many on the Right for even daring to discuss the matter. Norquist defended his suggestion: “I’m confident about where that conversation would go. And I think the people who are against that conversation know where it would go, too.” Addressing some of his harsher critics, Norquist shot back: “Shut up is not an argument… Many of the people who want us to stay in Afghanistan are smart people. There are good arguments for their position. So let’s hear them.”

But hearing any serious cost/benefit analysis about our current foreign policy is about as likely to happen as Washington leaders addressing and correcting our reckless domestic policy of trillion dollar deficits and debt. It is simply assumed that the status quo, whatever it may be, is somehow beneficial and necessary by its own volition. Or perhaps worse, politicians fear that the many special interests involved could potentially be jeopardized by any substantive examination of the way Washington conducts its business.

This characteristic intellectual laziness among the political class is particularly troubling when it comes to the threat of terrorism, domestic or otherwise. We continue to fret over the Islamic terror effect while steadfastly refusing to even consider the cause of Islamic terrorism, making King’s hearings last week little more than another example of Washington’s typical grandstanding buffoonery. Yes, King and his allies on this issue are indeed right that the problem of domestic Islamic terrorism is a concern—but their ongoing blindness toward the primary cause of their concern prevents them from even attempting to examine this issue comprehensively. Peter King might as well have called for congressional hearings on the problem of teenage sex while leaving raging hormones completely out of the equation. And let us hear no more from Washington leaders who want to “keep us safe” until they are first willing to look at the policies of their own making that continue to endanger us the most.

Riaz Haq said...

In a Newsweek interview, Japanse-American historian Francis Fukuyama warns that "the entire internment episode was a grave injustice. Any person of Japanese-American ancestry watching today’s Islamophobia has to be very sensitive."


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Op Ed about Pakistani-American Syed Fahad Hashmi published in the San Francisco Chronicle:

By Jeanne Theoharis (Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College)

Pale and gaunt, he stood there, having endured three years of pretrial solitary confinement. "Alhamdullilah," he said.

Yes. He had allowed an acquaintance to stay with him in his student apartment in London—an acquaintance who had raincoats, ponchos, and waterproof socks in his luggage, which the acquaintance later delivered to Al Qaeda.
Eight years earlier, Fahad and I had sat across from each other in my office. A student in my civil-rights seminar, he had come in to discuss his final research paper. Months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, he wanted to examine the denial of civil rights and constitutional protections that Muslim groups across the political spectrum were facing in the United States.
A day before trial, the government dropped the other three charges. That it did so suggests that it had applied draconian pretrial measures, not because it considered Fahad a high-level terrorist, but to induce his cooperation or conviction.

Six weeks later, Judge Preska sentenced him to 15 years in prison. At the sentencing, it became clear that Fahad posed a threat not only because of luggage brought to his apartment, but because of his ideology. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McGuire called it "an ideology of violence and intolerance," noting that "not every person who supports Al Qaeda is going to pull a trigger or throw a bomb or launch an attack." Citing Fahad's "anti-American jihadist ideology," the judge echoed that McCarthyesque logic of deterrence.
We have freedom of speech and build bridges of dialogue and debate, I teach my students, and what makes that hard is that we have to hear things we do not like and be confronted with truths and opinions far removed from our own.

But those lessons are not upheld in our public culture, which has drawn arbitrary, silencing constrictions around the speech and association of Muslim-Americans. While Christian and Jewish political dissents regularly enter American public debate (militant Christian anti-abortion rhetoric, for instance, may be censured but is not criminalized), Islamic political dissent condemning U.S. practices becomes "subject to ferocious penalties," as Randolph Bourne decried long ago, and Fahad had quoted in his paper.

"If you see something, say something." Our duty, I believe, is different—to see in a terrorism suspect a person deserving of rights and humane treatment; to speak out against torture when it happens in a New York jail, not just when it occurs overseas; to insist that the Bill of Rights applies to all defendants all of the time. To take responsibility for the ways each of us has become complicit in the civil-rights violations of our era.We have freedom of speech and build bridges of dialogue and debate, I teach my students, and what makes that hard is that we have to hear things we do not like and be confronted with truths and opinions far removed from our own.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an interesting article titled "FBI ‘Islam 101′ Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons by Spencer Ackerman published in Wired Magazine:

As recently as January 2009, the FBI thought its agents ought to know the following crucial information about Muslims:

* They engage in a “circumcision ritual”
* More than 9,000 of them are in the U.S. military
* Their religion “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”

And this was what the FBI considered “recommended reading” about Islam:

* A much-criticized tome, The Arab Mind, that one reviewer called “a collection of outrageously broad — and often suspect — generalizations“
* A book by one of Norwegian terrorist suspect Anders Behring Breivik’s favorite anti-Muslim authors.

All this is revealed in a PowerPoint presentation by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Communications Unit (.pdf), which trains new Bureau recruits. Among the 62 slides in the presentation, designed to teach techniques for “successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the M.E. [Middle East],” is an instruction that the “Arabic mind” is “swayed more by words than ideas and more by ideas than facts.”

The briefing presents much information that has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with constitutionally-protected religious practice and social behavior, such as estimating the number of mosques in America and listing the states with the largest Muslim populations.

Other slides paint Islam in a less malicious light, and one urges “respectful liaison” as a “proactive approach” to engaging Muslims. But even those exhibit what one American Muslim civil rights leader calls “the understanding of a third grader, and even then, a badly misinformed third grader.”

One slide asks, “Is Iran an Arab country?” (It’s not.) Another is just a picture of worry beads.

“Based on this presentation, it is easy to see why so many in law enforcement and the FBI view American Muslims with ignorance and suspicion,” says Farhana Khera, the executive director of Muslim Advocates, a legal aid group. “The presentation appears to treat all Muslims with one broad brush and makes no distinction between lawful religious practice and beliefs and unlawful activities.”...


Riaz Haq said...

It's interesting to see how the Christian right-wingers in America, like the Hindu Nationalists in India, are trying to distance themselves from Breivik. It's the same people who routinely blame the entire Muslim faith for the actions of a few who claim to be Muslim.

Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post report:

On Wednesday’s “Daily Show,” Stewart took issue with Fox News claiming that the “liberal media” unfairly labeled the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, as a Christian, therefore victimizing other Christians in the process.

On Fox Business Network’s “America’s Nightly Scoreboard,” contributor Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said that Breivik is not a Christian because “anybody can claim anything,” and also that the suspect is “a godsend to the liberal media.”

“There have been tens of thousands of Islamist terrorist attacks, and the media have rushed to say it's nothing to do with Islam,” he said. “Now one crazy claims he's a Christian and commits an act of terror, and ... we expect more Christian terrorists.”

Bill O’Reilly said it was “impossible” that Breivik is Christian just because he claimed he was one. But Stewart pointed out that O’Reilly felt comfortable calling the suspect in the Fort Hood shooting, Nidal Malik Hasan, a “Muslim terrorist” because he had a business card that read “Soldier of Allah.”

“See. That guy printed up a ‘Soldier of Allah’ business card. The other guy only printed up an ‘Army of Christ’ manifesto,” Stewart said. “I guess the only connection is both psychos, for some reason, spent the day at Kinko’s.”

Jordan Sekulow, The Post’s Religion Right Now blogger, agreed that Breivik is not a “Christian” just because he used the term.

“Breivik is not a ‘Christian terrorist’ because, according to his own description of what the word ‘Christian’ means to him, and his actions, he is not a Christian,” Sekulow wrote.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, a contributor to The Post’s On Faith, thinks O’Reilly’s claim is “nonsense.”

“Breivik says he is a Christian; he wrote a ‘manifesto’ in which he attempts to link Christianity to opposition to Muslim immigration,” Lynn wrote. “Yet he failed miserably to understand the faith he claimed to champion.”


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a France24 story about New York's "Little Pakistan":

Following the 9/11 attacks of 2001, renewed fears of terrorism turned the New York community of Little Pakistan into a ghost town. But 10 years later, this Brooklyn neighbourhood has learned some important lessons in community activism.
In Little Pakistan, a New York neighbourhood where the store signs are in English and Urdu, the rich smell of freshly fried samsosas entices mothers in hijabs walking their children home from school.

On the corner of Coney Island and Foster avenues, a cheerful, matronly woman roasting corn on a charcoal spit provides a lively commentary on the neighborhood. “This is Little Pakistan, it's going well here,” Kaneez Fatima says, in her native Urdu. “This is my home. I'm the queen of this place,” she adds with a throaty laugh. Around her, a clutch of clients chomping her roasted corn sportingly agree.

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, commerce is brisk – or as brisk as one could hope for during an economic crisis – along this stretch of Coney Island Avenue.

The area has come a long way since the dark days following the biggest terrorist attacks on US soil. As law enforcement officials began patrolling here and detaining hundreds of Pakistani immigrants – often for minor infractions – in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a climate of fear gripped the community. Numerous wives, mothers and sisters, some of them non-English speakers, had no idea back then where their menfolk were being held.

In the following months, once-thriving stores permanently closed their shutters as thousands of Pakistani immigrants packed up and left, often either for Canada or Pakistan. By May 2003, about 15,000 of the once 120,000-strong community had left, according to Pakistani government estimates.
Of the estimated 700,000 Pakistani-Americans, roughly two-thirds live in the New York area. Over the past decade, Little Pakistan has periodically turned into a focal point for journalists who swoop down on the area to take the community's temperature with every new black mark on Pakistan's terrorism track record.

And there have been many black marks. In May 2010, a newly nationalised US citizen of Pakistani origin attempted to detonate an explosive device in a car on Times Square. When he was arrested, Faisal Shahzad admitted to receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan’s Waziristan province.

A year later, US Navy SEALS and CIA operatives found and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad, not far from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, renewing US suspicions that Pakistan's military establishment is protecting Islamist militants.

With every crisis in US-Pakistani relations, community leaders in Little Pakistan spring into action, taking to the airwaves to reiterate the community's rejection of violence and their history of being patriotic, law-abiding US citizens.
COPO, for instance, was founded by a local businessman who turned his fabric store into a temporary community service centre, believing that once the neighbourhood's immediate problems were resolved, he would close down the organisation and get back to business.

Engaging with America

Nearly a decade later, COPO not only survives but has vastly expanded its operations, conducting English-language classes, youth programs and forums where law enforcement officials meet with community members in order to discuss each other's concerns.

Caught unprepared shortly after 9/11, the community is now keenly aware of the importance of empowering its members to engage actively with officials in their new home, rather than fearing and fleeing them.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on advertisers pulling out of TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality TV show:

Lowe’s, the national hardware chain, has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups.

The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads, including Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

“’All-American Muslim’ is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law,” the Florida group asserts in a letter it asks members to send to TLC advertisers.

“The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to the liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish,” the FFA’s letter continues.

It was not clear whether the companies cited by the Florida Family Association, which has also targeted shows like MTV’s “Degrassi,” stopped advertising on “All-American Muslim” because of pressure or for other reasons.

Emails from Home Depot and Sweet’N Low posted on the Florida Family Association’s website suggest the companies had simply bought one commercial spot, and didn’t cancel any commercials.

A spokeswoman for Amway, also cited by the Florida group, denied the company pulled advertising from “All-American Muslim,” and said those reports were “misleading” and “falsely named” Amway.

Lowe’s acknowledged pulling commercials from “All-American Muslim” following consumer complaints, but denied they came from one group.

“We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,” said Katie Cody, a Lowe’s spokeswoman.

Cody declined to specify whether the complaints were anti-Muslim, and whether Lowe’s advertises on shows with Christian, Jewish, or other religious characters or themes. “It is certainly never Lowe’s intent to alienate anyone,” Cody said.

“Shame on Lowe’s, and shame on every one of these companies if they really did cave in to such bigotry and hatred,” wrote Sheila Musaji, who blogs at theamericanmuslim.org. If the Florida Family Association and other reports are misrepresenting these companies, she added, “then they need to speak up.”

The first of eight weekly episodes of “All-American Muslim,” which follows five Lebanese families in Dearborn, Mich., premiered on Nov. 13.

A TLC spokeswoman, Laurie Goldberg, said the network could not comment about the alleged advertising defections, but that the show maintained “strong” advertising. “There are no plans to pull the show. The show is going to continue as planned,” said Goldberg.


Riaz Haq said...

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.”


Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of a NY Times story "Radical U.S. Muslims Little Threat, Study Says":

A feared wave of homegrown terrorism by radicalized Muslim Americans has not materialized, with plots and arrests dropping sharply over the two years since an unusual peak in 2009, according to a new study by a North Carolina research group.

The study, to be released on Wednesday, found that 20 Muslim Americans were charged in violent plots or attacks in 2011, down from 26 in 2010 and a spike of 47 in 2009.

Charles Kurzman, the author of the report for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, called terrorism by Muslim Americans “a minuscule threat to public safety.” Of about 14,000 murders in the United States last year, not a single one resulted from Islamic extremism, said Mr. Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina.

The report also found that no single ethnic group predominated among Muslims charged in terrorism cases last year — six were of Arab ancestry, five were white, three were African-American and two were Iranian, Mr. Kurzman said. That pattern of ethnic diversity has held for those arrested since Sept. 11, 2001, he said.

Forty percent of those charged in 2011 were converts to Islam, Mr. Kurzman found, slightly higher than the 35 percent of those charged since the 2001 attacks. His new report is based on the continuation of research he conducted for a book he published last year, “The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists.”

The decline in cases since 2009 has come as a relief to law enforcement and counterterrorism officials. In that year, the authorities were surprised by a series of terrorist plots or attacks, including the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., by an Army psychiatrist who had embraced radical Islam, Maj. Nidal Hasan.
But the number of cases declined, returning to the rough average of about 20 Muslim Americans accused of extremist violence per year that has prevailed since the 2001 attacks, with 193 people in that category over the decade. By Mr. Kurzman’s count, 462 other Muslim Americans have been charged since 2001 for nonviolent crimes in support of terrorism, including financing and making false statements.

The 2011 cases include just one actual series of attacks, which caused no injuries, involving rifle shots fired late at night at military buildings in Northern Virginia. A former Marine Corps reservist, Yonathan Melaku, pleaded guilty in the case last month in an agreement that calls for a 25-year prison sentence.

Other plots unearthed by law enforcement last year and listed in Mr. Kurzman’s report included a suspected Iranian plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, a scheme to attack a Shiite mosque in Michigan and another to blow up synagogues, churches and the Empire State Building.

“Fortunately, very few of these people are competent and very few get to the stage of preparing an attack without coming to the attention of the authorities,” Mr. Kurzman said.


Riaz Haq said...

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....


Hopewins said...

Jan 15,013:
Here is another phony entrapment targeting our Pakistani Model Minority in the US--

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "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?"

What if GOP did the same thing in our country and locked-up all the potential/aspiring radicals? What if this technique led to a 50% decrease in terrorist attacks in Pakistan? Would you then consider the method as justified or would you still consider it "unfair targeting"?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "What if this technique led to a 50% decrease in terrorist attacks in Pakistan? Would you then consider the method as justified or would you still consider it "unfair targeting"?"

First, such entrapment of innocents does nothing to reduce terror attacks.

Second, even if it did, it would still be wrong to sweep up youth of a certain faith and ethnicity in the name of fighting terror.

Riaz Haq said...

ASLAN: Islam doesn't promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion, and like every religion in the world, it depends on what you bring to it. If you're a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism is going to be violent. There are Buddhist -- marauding Buddhist monks in Myanmar slaughtering

women and children. Does Buddhism promote violence? Of course not. People are violent or peaceful. And that depends on their politics, their social world, the way that they see their communities, the way they see themselves.

CAMEROTA: So, Reza, you don't think that there's anything more -- there's -- the justice system in Muslim countries you don't think is somehow more primitive or subjugates women more than in other countries?

ASLAN: Did you hear what you just said? You said in Muslim countries.

I just told you that, Indonesia, women are absolutely 100 percent equal to men. In Turkey, they have had more female representatives, more female heads of state in Turkey than we have in the United States.

LEMON: Yes, but in Pakistan...


ASLAN: Stop saying things like "Muslim countries."

ASLAN: Stoning and mutilation and those barbaric practices should be condemned and criticized by everyone. The actions of individuals and societies and countries like Iran, like Pakistan, like Saudi Arabia must be condemned, because they don't belong in the 21st century.

But to say Muslim countries, as though Pakistan and Turkey are the same, as though Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are the same, as though somehow what is happening in the most extreme forms of these repressive countries, these autocratic countries, is representative of what's happening in every other Muslim country, is, frankly -- and I use this word seriously -- stupid. So let's stop doing that.

LEMON: OK, Reza. Let's -- I want you to listen to Benjamin Netanyahu again. This is actually the one I wanted you to hear. ASLAN: Yes, the ISIS.


NETANYAHU: But our hopes and the world's hopes for peace are in danger, because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It's not militants. It's not Islam. It's militant Islam. And, typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one.


LEMON: He's making a clear distinction there. He says it's not militants, it's not Islam; it's militant Islam. Do you understand his distinction there? Is he correct?

ASLAN: Well, he's correct in talking about militant Islam being a problem.

He is absolutely incorrect in talking about ISIS equaling Hamas. That's just ridiculous. No one takes him seriously when he says things like that. And, frankly, it's precisely why, under his leadership, Israel has become so incredibly isolated from the rest of the global community.

Those kinds of statements are illogical, they're irrational, they're so obviously propagandistic. In fact, he went so far as to then bring up the Nazis, which has become kind of a verbal tick for him whenever he brings up either Hamas or ISIS.

Again, these kinds of oversimplifications I think only cause more danger. There is a very real problem. ISIS is a problem. Al Qaeda is a problem. These militant Islamic groups like Hamas, like Hezbollah, like the Taliban have to be dealt with. But it doesn't actually help us to deal with them when, instead of talking about rational conflicts, rational criticisms of a particular religion, we instead so easily slip into bigotry by simply painting everyone with a single brush, as we have been doing in this conversation, mind you.


Riaz Haq said...

People think that catching terrorists is just a matter of finding them – but, just as often, terrorists are created by the people doing the chase.

While making our film (T)ERROR, which tracks a single counter-terrorism sting operation over seven months, we realized that most people have serious misconceptions about FBI counter-terrorism efforts. They assume that informants infiltrate terrorist networks and then provide the FBI with information about those networks in order to stop terrorist plots from being carried out. That’s not true in the vast majority of domestic terrorism cases.

Since 9/11, as Human Rights Watch and others have documented, the FBI has routinely used paid informants not to capture existing terrorists, but to cultivate them. Through elaborate sting operations, informants are directed to spend months – sometimes years – building relationships with targets, stoking their anger and offering ideas and incentives that encourage them to engage in terrorist activity. And the moment a target takes a decisive step forward, crossing the line from aspirational to operational, the FBI swoops in to arrest him.

The targets of FBI stings are almost exclusively Muslim men between the ages of 15 and 35. They also tend to be angry, isolated and impoverished – in other words, eager for companionship and easy to manipulate. Many of the informants are well-remunerated con men with criminal histories, whom the FBI cannot guarantee won’t coerce targets into plots in order to secure their own paychecks. The stakes are high: informants stand to make as much as $100,000 over the course of a single investigation, not to mention considerable bonuses in the case of successful convictions.

A recent example: on 14 January, the FBI announced that it had interrupted an Isis-inspired terrorist plot in the United States. Christopher Lee Cornell, a 20-year-old recent Muslim convert from Cincinnati, was allegedly plotting to attack the US Capitol with pipe bombs and gun down government officials. Cornell was arrested after purchasing two semiautomatic weapons from an Ohio gun store because the man that Cornell thought was his partner was actually an FBI informant. His plot was foiled by the FBI, after they ensured the cooperation of the store owner.

We see the same story repeated over and over: of the domestic terrorism plots interrupted by law enforcement over the past decade, all but four were initiated by an informant-provocateur acting under FBI supervision. Conveniently for the FBI, network news anchors choose to parrot FBI press releases and herald suspects’ alleged associations with radical Islam, and the steady stream of “interrupted plots” provides the government with ample evidence that the terrorist threat is ever-present and that expanded surveillance is essential to national security.

Less than a day after Cornell’s arrest, House Speaker John Boehner praised NSA spying for uncovering the plot – even though the FBI asserts that it learned of Cornell’s alleged activities through the informant. When pressed for details, Boehner refused to elaborate, saying only, “We’ll let the whole story roll out”. He added that lawmakers need to consider this particular plot when discussing amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Although then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales released guidelines governing the FBI’s use of confidential informants in 2006, there is no congressional oversight of these activities. Even though Attorney General Eric Holder recently revised federal law-enforcement guidelines to limit racial profiling, and despite evidence that the FBI engages in profiling when identifying persons of investigative interest, the FBI will be exempt from these revised guidelines in the interests of national security.


Riaz Haq said...

"There's an organization responsible for more terrorism plots in the United States than al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and ISIS combined: The FBI. How? Why? In an eye-opening talk, investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson reveals a disturbing FBI practice that breeds terrorist plots by exploiting Muslim-Americans with mental health problems."


Riaz Haq said...

The shooting in Charleston this week that ended with nine people dead fits the textbook description of a terrorist attack. The victims were African American, gunned down at a historic black church. The suspect is a white 21-year-old who was apparently a white supremacist.
“I don’t even think twice about it,” says Juliette Kayyem, a former counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security. “This is a template, essentially at this stage, for terrorism. He says what he’s doing, he says why he’s doing it, he says what he wants the result [to be],” Kayyem says. “Too much ink has been wasted on this question. It is terrorism.”
It is important to accurately label acts of terrorism for a host of different reasons. People in the news media need to be accurate if they want to maintain any credibility. The history of violence perpetrated against African Americans in US history is part of the story and needs to be acknowledged. There has also been a tendency to use the “terrorism” when the suspects are foreign, especially Muslim, says Michael German, a former FBI official who worked undercover to prosecute white supremacists.
“Since 9-11, when people use the word ‘terrorism’, they’re referring only to one type of violence and ignoring the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is only one piece of the political violence that takes place not just in American society, but around the world,” German says.
“The numbers of people killed by far-right extremists [in the US] typically exceeds any other type of group on an annual basis,” he says.
White supremacist groups remain a persistent threat in the US, German adds. The 1993 bombing in Oklahoma City was the worst terrorist attack on US soil until September 11, 2001. Radical right-wing groups have also tried to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
But German says law enforcement needs to be smart about the way it responds to any and all terrorist threats, and avoid the worst excesses committed during America’s long-running "war on terror." “If we are going to have a counterterrorism effort, it should be focused on the actual people who are engaging in terrorist acts,” German says. “They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The "terrorism" label can lead to problems in law enforcement, German says. One of them includes going after people who espouse ideologies considered radical. “Once you go down that path, there are a lot of different things [we] don’t agree with. And once people begin to be targeted for their beliefs, when they’re not actually engaged in criminal activity, that hurts our society as well.”
Federal officials say they are investigating the shooting in Charleston from all angles. "The department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism," Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement.
From a legal perspective, labeling the attack in Charleston an act of terrorism could cause problems by making the case against the suspected shooter more difficult to prosecute. “Terrorism charges are sometimes unnecessary,” Kayyem says. In the case of the convicted Boston Marathon bomber, for example, Dzokhar Tsarnaev did not face formal terrorism charges.
“A lot of times, prosecutors do not want to bring cases that require proof of intent,” she says. “If the facts are there, then just bring a factual case. I have no problem saying this is terrorism, but also being very comfortable with this just being a series of murder charges, legally speaking.”


Riaz Haq said...

Long history of attacks on US recruit centers starting with Vietnam war. #ChattanoogaShooting http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/17/from-tenn-to-times-square-military-recruiting-centers-prove-easy-targets/ …

Military recruiting centers were first targeted during the Vietnam War. As the casualties mounted and the campaign became bitterly unpopular, anti-war activists began bombing recruitment offices across the United States....On Jan. 2, 1973, a U.S. Navy recruiting center in Portland was seriously damaged by a bomb explosion. Two days later, a nearby U.S. Army recruiting center was dynamited. Frank Stearns Giese, a 63-year-old former Oregon college professor, was convicted of plotting the bombings based upon his fingerprints being found on a Black Panther book.....In 1986, 22-year-old neo-Nazi Robert Elliot Pires was arrested and accused of a string of bombings, including an attempted attack on a military recruitment building....Two years later, Yu Kikumura, a member of the Japanese Red Army, a communist militia, was arrested while planning to bomb a military recruitment office in Manhattan to protest the U.S. bombing of Libya.....Since Sept. 11, 2001, however, military recruitment centers have primarily been targeted by Islamist terrorists.

Riaz Haq said...

#ISIS New Year #terror plot story totally bogus. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/isis-new-years-eve-terror-plot-story-totally-bogus#.VogY7eYhOII.twitter …

Another major holiday, another sensational ISIS terror plot the FBI takes credit for preventing. This time, the case splashed across the news is that of Emanuel Lutchman, a 25-year-old panhandler in Rochester, New York who allegedly plotted to attack a restaurant on New Years Eve. All major network broadcasts lead with the story and it was breathlessly featured everywhere from The New York Times to CNN. There’s only one problem: the way the story is being presented is wildly inaccurate and in many ways factually false.

Like almost all 11th hour FBI terror busts, the only thing the media has to go off is a DOJ criminal complaint that’s released to the press. Statements from the accused or their lawyer very rarely reach the public. And the criminal complaint and FBI press release are framed to deliberately deceive the media.

Let’s run down some of the key claims made by the media and why they’re either factually incorrect or misleading.

Claim: The plot was directed by ISIS

While the FBI's public statements to the media imply Lutchman was having discussions with real ISIS recruiters, the actual court documents are careful to never make this specific claim, only saying “Mr. Lutchman claims to have received direction from an overseas ISIL member.” For the purposes of proving “attempt to material support of ISIS” prosecutors do not need to actually show a material connection to ISIS, only an attempt to do so. It remains unclear if Lutchman’s contact (“Overseas individual” as the affidavit calls him) was, in fact, a member of ISIS but this hasn’t stopped the media from asserting it as fact.

Claim: Lutchman bought weapons for the attack at Walmart

Several media outlets, from Heavy.com to CBS to local reporters claimed Lutchman bought his weapons but this is inaccurate. He actually went along while a paid informant, at the direction of the FBI, purchased the equipment. Nominally this was because Lutchman could not afford the $40 worth of supplies. This means one of two things: Either A) Lutchman was looking for an out and used his inability to pay for the items as an excuse, only to be further pressured by the FBI or B) Lutchman did indeed not have the wherewithal to muster $40 to go on his own suicide attack which, on its face, should give any critical thinker pause.

This was a man who, according to his grandmother, “can’t buy Pampers for his son" who was being sponsored not by ISIS (evidently, his contact in Syria couldn’t send him $40 or fill out an Amazon purchase) but quite literally by the FBI. The fact that FBI knowingly bought the weapons for the attack is a clear sign the FBI wasn’t interested in thwarting a plot, but building a case. Notice how the New York Times cleverly gets around the awkward fact by reporting Lutchman “gathered” the materials since they can’t say he bought them. Because he didn’t, the FBI did.

Riaz Haq said...

#FBI using stings in #ISIS cases. Entrapping young #Muslims? Manufacturing #terror plots? #Islamophobia http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/FBI-steps-up-use-of-stings-in-Islamic-State-cases-7968986.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop … via @SFGate

In Rochester, New York, a paid informant went undercover and drove a man suspected of being an Islamic extremist, Emanuel Lutchman, to a Wal-Mart in December to buy a machete, ski masks, zip ties and other supplies for a would-be terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve. Because Lutchman, a mentally ill panhandler, had no money, the informant covered the $40 cost.
The FBI has about 1,000 open investigations into “homegrown violent extremists,” which it defines as Americans motivated by a foreign terrorist group, including the Islamic State, to conduct attacks at home, officials said. They said a “significant number” of cases — hundreds in all — had entailed undercover operations against people suspected of being Islamic extremists, but that the FBI did not have precise numbers.
But court records examined by The Timesindicate that the FBI has used undercover operations with increasing frequency in its Islamic State investigations since the earliest cases emerged in March 2014.
Only about 30 percent of the first few dozen prosecutions through late 2014 appear to have relied on evidence gathered through undercover operations. That number climbed to about 45 percent by early last year, with a string of undercover prosecutions in New York, Minnesota and Illinois. And since February 2015, about 40 of 60 Islamic State prosecutions, or 67 percent, have been based on undercover operations.
Muslim leaders wary
The number of Islamic State prosecutions overall has slowed since January; officials believe a spate of prosecutions late last year may have deterred plotters. But undercover stings have remained the norm. So far this year, eight of the dozen Islamic State prosecutions have relied on undercover operatives, court records indicate.
In the most recent case, prosecutors two weeks ago charged a Bronx man, Sajmir Alimehmeti, 22, with traveling to Europe twice to try to fight with the Islamic State. He met with at least three undercover agents during the FBI’s investigation.
The stings have left many Muslim leaders wary, even as the FBI has sought to build bridges to Muslim Americans. At mosques in Oregon, imams sometimes warn of FBI informants and caution “that we have those among us who are not with us,” said Tom Nelson, a Muslim lawyer in Portland who has represented a number of local men in terrorism-related cases.
His message for his Muslim friends, Nelson said, is blunt.
“Avoid the FBI like the plague,” he said. “They’re definitely not an ally. That’s what the FBI does — they infiltrate.”

Riaz Haq said...

The #FBI is 'manufacturing #terrorism cases' on a greater scale than ever before. #Islamophobia http://read.bi/1YgTvYo via @BI_Defense

The FBI has ramped up its use of sting operations in terrorism cases, dispatching undercover agents to pose as jihadists and ensnare Americans suspected of backing ISIS, aka the Islamic State, Daesh, or ISIL.

On Thursday, roughly 67% of prosecutions involving suspected ISIS supporters include evidence from undercover operations, according to The New York Times.

In many cases, agents will seek out people who have somehow demonstrated radical views, and then coax them into plotting an act of terrorism — often providing weapons and money. Before the suspects can carry out their plans, though, they're arrested.

But critics say that the FBI's tactics serve to entrap only individuals who would never have committed any violence without the government's instigation.

"They're manufacturing terrorism cases," Michael German, a former undercover agent with the FBI who now researches national-security law at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, told The Times. "These people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States."

'They target people who are genuinely psychotic'
Increasingly, experts are worried that undercover operations of this kind infringe on the rights of Americans.

Stephen Downs, an attorney and founding member of Project Salam , which gives legal support to Muslims, told Business Insider that " the government has developed a technique of engaging targets in conversations of a somewhat provocative nature, and then trying to pick up on things the target says, which might suggest illegal activity — and then trying to push them into pursuing those particular activities."

Downs also said that the FBI often targets particularly vulnerable people, such as those with mental disabilities.

"Very often, they [the FBI] target people who are genuinely psychotic, who are taking medication," he said.

Last March, The Intercept profiled 25-year-old Sami Osmakac, who was "broke and struggling with mental illness" when he became the target of an FBI sting operation.

"The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac's martyrdom video," The Intercept reported. "The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go."

A recent study cited by BuzzFeed examined undercover operations for signs of entrapment by looking at terrorism prosecutions dating back to 9/11.

The study coded each case for up to 20 signals that an individual had been a victim of this kind of entrapment, such as whether the defendant had no previous involvement in terrorism or whether they had been given some kind of monetary incentive to commit a crime.

The vast majority of the 317 cases involving undercover operations contained signs of entrapment.

Countless legal challenges have been made against these prosecutions, and facts supporting an entrapment defense are "pretty widespread," Jesse Norris, a legal scholar at SUNY Fredonia and the study’s leader, told BuzzFeed.

Riaz Haq said...

Did an #FBI informant/agent encourage first #ISIS claimed #terrorist attack on #American soil in #Garland, #Texas?

It’s mostly been forgotten because the two terrorists were killed by local cops before they managed to murder anyone. In looking into what happened in Garland, we were surprised to discover just how close the FBI was to one of the terrorists. Not only had the FBI been monitoring him for years, there was an undercover agent right behind him when the first shots were fired.

Anderson Cooper: After the trial, you discovered that the government knew a lot more about the Garland attack than they had let on?

Dan Maynard: That’s right. Yeah. After the trial we found out that they had had an undercover agent who had been texting with Simpson, less than three weeks before the attack, to him “Tear up Texas.” Which to me was an encouragement to Simpson.

The man he’s talking about was a special agent of the FBI, working undercover posing as an Islamic radical. The government sent attorney Dan Maynard 60 pages of declassified encrypted messages between the agent and Elton Simpson – and argued “Tear up Texas” was not an incitement. But Simpson’s response was incriminating, referring to the attack against cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo: “bro, you don’t have to say that...” He wrote “you know what happened in Paris… so that goes without saying. No need to be direct.”

But it turns out the undercover agent did more than just communicate online with Elton Simpson. In an affidavit filed in another case the government disclosed that the FBI undercover agent had actually “traveled to Garland, Texas, and was present… at the event.”

Dan Maynard: I was shocked. I mean I was shocked that the government hadn’t turned this over. I wanted to know when did he get there, why was he there?

And this past November, Maynard was given another batch of documents by the government, revealing the biggest surprise of all. The undercover FBI agent was in a car directly behind Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi when they started shooting. This cell-phone photo of school security guard Bruce Joiner and police officer Greg Stevens was taken by the undercover agent seconds before the attack.

Anderson Cooper: The idea that he’s taking photograph of the two people who happen to be attacked moments before they’re attacked.

Dan Maynard: It’s stunning.

Anderson Cooper: I mean, talk about being in the right or the wrong place at the right or the wrong time.

Dan Maynard: The idea that he’s right there 30 seconds before the attack happens is just incredible to me.

Anderson Cooper: What would you want to ask the undercover agent?

Dan Maynard: I would love to ask the undercover agent-- Are these the only communications that you had with Simpson? Did you have more communications with Simpson? How is it that you ended up coming to Garland, Texas? Why are you even there?

We wanted to ask the FBI those same questions. But the bureau would not agree to an interview. All the FBI would give us was this email statement. It reads: “There was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas.”

If you’re wondering what happened to the FBI’s undercover agent, he fled the scene but was stopped at gunpoint by Garland police. This is video of him in handcuffs, recorded by a local news crew. We’ve blurred his face to protect his identity.

Dan Maynard: I can’t tell you whether the FBI knew the attack was gonna occur. I don’t like to think that they let it occur. But it is shocking to me that an undercover agent sees fellas jumping out of a car and he drives on. I find that shocking.

Riaz Haq said...

Aslam noted the tree plantation program is also generating tens of thousands of new employment opportunities and is expected to create about 1.5 million jobs over the next three years when the government will have hit the target of nearly 3.3 billion trees.

“For every dollar you invest in nature, you get nine dollars back. So, you get jobs, you get local employment, you get (a) green economy going,” the minister told VOA.

“Even during the COVID era, we created 84,000 jobs for people who were out of jobs,” he added, referring to the coronavirus pandemic that hit Pakistan in February.

The outbreak prompted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to introduce nationwide lockdowns to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has infected at least 315,000 Pakistanis, and resulted in more than 6,500 deaths. New infections, however, have dramatically and steadily declined to several hundred a day since June, encouraging the government to lift all lockdowns.

Khan spearheaded a reforestation campaign, known as Billion Tree Tsunami, in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, which his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Party has been governing since 2013.

The four-year program restored 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land, surpassing its 348,400 hectares commitment to the Bonn Challenge and winning Khan international praise for his climate change efforts.

The Bonn Challenge, established in 2011, calls for the restoration of 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2030.

Billion Tree Tsunami program

The Billion Tree Tsunami program generated about 500,000 green jobs for men and women in poverty-stricken remote areas of the scenic Pakistani province. It has established a network of private tree nurseries and boosted local incomes.

The World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan (WWF-P), which monitored and audited the tree-planting effort in KP, reported that the project has been an environmental, economic and social success, with one of the highest survival rates of trees in the world, ranging from 75% to more than 80%.

Officials at the International Union for Conservation of Nature-Pakistan (ICUN-P) hailed the initiative as “a true conservation success story.”

Khan launched the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami program after his party won the July 2018 national election and he became prime minister.

Third-party audit

Last week, the Pakistani government signed an agreement with a consortium of three international organizations for a third-party monitoring and evaluation of the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami” program from 2020 to 2024.

The consortium comprises WWF-P, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and ICUN-P.

FAO deputy representative Farrukh Toirovi described the program as a historic undertaking by Pakistan.

“This is a project which will benefit not only today the people of Pakistan, but also it will be benefiting the people all around the world and the region, and also for the people of the generations to come,” Toirovi said. "We from FAO are interested in this project so that we can take these lessons from Pakistan and try to use it also in other countries.”

Hammad Khan Naqi, director general of the WWF-Pakistan, explained that his organization will evaluate 30% of the plantation sites, 30% for wildlife conservation and 100% percent of the protected areas across the country.

Pakistani officials say the unprecedented third-party monitoring of a government project will ensure impartial “verification, transparency and accountability” of the massive reforestation drive and of the public funds being spent on it.

Authorities say a key part of the project is to curtail activities of the powerful “timber mafia” that for decades has operated in Pakistan unhindered.

The KP provincial government effectively dismantled hundreds of illegal sawmills and arrested timber cutters while implementing the ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ project there, leaving at least two forest guards dead in such encounters and injuring many more.