Archive for Spy

Star-Ledger: Chris Christie, AG wrong to conclude NYPD Muslim probe was justified

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2012 by loonwatch

We are supposed to take Gov. Christie and his Attorney General’s word that the NYPD did nothing wrong when they spied on Muslims in Newark.

Chris Christie, AG wrong to conclude NYPD Muslim probe was justified

(Star-Ledger Editorial Board)

It was disturbing to learn several months ago that the New York Police Department was conducting secret spy missions on Muslims in Newark, building dossiers on their mosques and shops, taking photographs and eavesdropping on their conversations.

It is more disturbing to learn that Gov.Chris Christie and his attorney general, Jeffrey Chiesa, have concluded that it was all justified. Throwing this kind of wide net of surveillance over a community, based on its religion, strikes us as a sloppy overreach of police powers.

Chiesa said Thursday that, after a three-month investigation, he could find no evidence that NYPD officers broke any laws. The NYPD, he says, was acting on legitimate intelligence tips when it began its ethnic mapping project in 2007.

Given the confidential nature of this, the public will never know for sure. But what tip could possibly justify such blanket surveillance of a community based on its religion? Did the tipster suggest all Muslims were dangerous? And if the threat was more specific, why did the search have to be so broad?

Read the rest…

Asra Nomani, Tarek Fatah and Zuhdi Jasser: ‘Please! Pretty Please Spy on Me!’

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by loonwatch

Zuhdi_Jasser_Tarek_Fatah_Peter_King

Tarek Fatah, Zuhdi Jasser, and Peter King

Asra Nomani, Tarek Fatah and Zuhdi Jasser have ridden in on their clown car to rally in support of being “spied on” by the NYPD. Using their “Muslim” cards they have either written in support of, or participated in a rally in solidarity with the NYPD’s secret surveillance. Such endless stupidity knows no bounds, and is not limited to Muslims. Self-hating loons are part of every culture and faith. (We have already written about why the NYPD surveillance is deceptive, wrong-headed, immoral and ineffective, so no need for us to repeat ourselves here.)

The loons agree with each other, being “Muslim” or “Muslim like” is sufficient just cause to infringe on the civil liberties of all Muslims. For these loons, being Muslim is enough of a reason to be accompanied by undercover agents on whitewater rafting trips, to have your mosque infiltrated, to have a who’s-who of ‘Muslamic’ eateries profiled. For these loons the tricky fact that this deceptive surveillance is probably illegal is to be ignored at all cost.

(Have you ever wondered what interesting terroristic tidbits those gum-shoe NYPD infiltrators gathered at, say, Habib Restaurant in Newark? I can just imagine:

Muslim patron of Habib Restaurant: This shawerma sandwhich is the bomb!

NYPD undercover agent jotting down in notebook: ”Stealth food Jihad!!??” I saw this on the Third Jihad that we watched in an endless loop for months! Check with Ray Kelly.)

It’s okay they say, go ahead and cast a pal of suspicion over the whole Muslim community. They  are essentially telling Bloomberg, Kelly, etc.:

“Look at us masta’. We da good Mooslims. You spy on us, entrap us, bomb us wid’ yo bombs, it’s otay.”

The loons’ rally attracted 20 or so supporters and…*gasp*…Rep.Peter King. Whodathunkit? The fact that IRA supporting Peter King would stand with the very same non-expert neo-Con witness he called at his McCarthyesque witch-hunt trials and declare, “you are the real face of Islam in America” is so shocking (note: thinly-veiled sarcasm).

Oh yes, Sheikh Peter King is now pontificating on who the “real” Muslims are. You are a real Muslim if you align yourself with the right-wing, agree with your community being spied on, (thereby undermining every citizens civil liberties), agree with the over-exaggerated “homegrown terrorism” threat, agree with entrapment, agree with the Greater Islamophobia of “bombing, invading and occupying” Muslim majority nations.

Lets continue the myth, they say, that Muslims have not cooperated with law enforcement and are not doing enough to condemn terrorism.(Even though over 40% of all tips regarding potential Muslim terrorists come from Muslims). This will finally convince those Tea Partiers that Asra loves at the Tennessee Freedom Coalition that real Islam is in fact a religion that should be afforded the guarantees of “religious freedom,” and not as they say, a 1400 year old political-fascist-totalitarian-cult threatening to overtake Christianity and “Islamize” the USA.

Asra in her Daily Beast article, Why NYPD Monitoring Should Be Welcome News to Muslims didn’t limit herself to attacking and libeling Muslims, in fact her words will comfort Colombians particularly,

“just as we need to track the Colombian community for drug trafficking and the Ku Klux Klan for white extremists, I believe we should monitor the Muslim community”

As one astute commenter on her article noted,

The Colombian community should be just as offended as the Muslims at being directly compared to the KKK which is by definition a gang of white extremists.

Nomani of course sees no problem, Colombians and Muslims are just like the KKK in her mind, and that is the true face of self-hating loons.

The sparse number of pro-surveillance and pro-anti-Muslim indoctrination ralliers indicates that most American Muslims are overwhelmingly opposed to the NYPD’s bigoted indoctrination of its officers as well as the warrantless surveillance of Muslims. An opposition that is born not just out of their recent plight, being cast as “today’s enemy,” but out of a consistency of principal; no one should be profiled based simply on religion or race, no group should endure warrantless surveillance.

One can imagine that in a not too distant future, these very same self-hating loons, eager to be profiled and spied on, will also be saying, “please, please intern me, somebody, please intern me!”

Update I:

Make sure to check out Danios’s article on the same topic: Zuhdi Jasser’s Astroturf Muslim Groups Behind Rally to Support NYPD Spying.

Terrorism Act: ‘They asked me to keep an eye on the Muslim community’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by loonwatch

From The Guardian:

People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them fewer rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show.

The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows policeto stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime.

But the rabbit hole goes deeper: MI5 officers are randomly stopping brown people “without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime”, then threatening to charge them with “crazy allegations” that they are terrorists unless they agree to become informants and spies.  If these allegations were true, why doesn’t the MI5 ever charge these people with a crime and give them a fair trial, or at least a farcical military tribunal?

Here is the article, again from The Guardian:

Terrorism Act: ‘They asked me to keep an eye on the Muslim community’

Asians tell of being targeted and cajoled by officers from MI5 and special branch

Asif Ahmed, 28, describes how he was detained and asked to spy:

Watch the video here

Just after landing at Edinburgh airport on 11 April 2010 Asif Ahmed was met by plainclothes officers and taken away from his wife. He was about to turn from model citizen into a terror suspect, one of 85,000 people who met a similar fate that year.

Officers met the couple just after they got off the flight from Stansted and told them Ahmed needed to come with them for a “normal check”.

The couple were returning from a weekend break and Ahmed saw no reason why he might be suspected of anything. Indeed, after London was attacked by terrorists in July 2005, Ahmed worked for the mayor of London and in Scotland to improve relations between Muslims and the rest of the population.

He was taken to a room by two officers who told him they were from special branch, a police department that deals in intelligence and security matters. Ahmed, 28, was told he was being questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

When he asked why, an officer replied: “No reason, it is just a random stop.” Ahmed told them they had stopped the only two people on the flight who looked like Muslims.

They said they did not know he was Muslim, which he did not believe.

The officers Ahmed remembers were detectives – a sergeant and a constable. They did not give their names but did give their identification numbers.

Ahmed says he felt compelled to answer their questions: “I had no choice, I was told I had no right to refuse.” He says the officers told him that if he exercised the right to remain silent, he could be detained further and eventually face jail.

Ahmed says he was questioned about his job, where he prayed, the Muslim groups he was active in. He was asked for a definition of extremism and what he would do if he found out someone was going to carry out an act of terrorism. He got the answer to that correct: he would tell the police.

In another room his wife was questioned. She was upset about being asked details about her sister, who was seriously ill at the time. Ahmed says the policemen interviewing him kept saying that he and his wife, studying for a PhD in political science, were “interesting people”. Then one of the officers asked if he would become a spy: “They asked if I would like to work with special branch, to keep an eye on the Muslim community in Edinburgh … They asked me three times. They said do it covertly.” He refused.

A similar scene played out at Stansted on 31 December 2007. Abdullah, a youth worker from east London, had returned from a Haj tour in Saudi Arabia with a tour group. “I was told that there was a problem with my passport and two white men in dark suits approached me and said that they needed to talk to me.”

They were police officers and he was taken to a room: “I was told that I had been stopped under terrorism-related legislation … I was given a sheet of paper that basically said that they were allowed by law to do this to me and I needed to comply with questioning.”

He was asked about his family, how his trip had been paid for, which mosque he prayed at and if he had “any additional training or skills”.

His mobile phones were taken away and searched. Then his questioning was disrupted by the arrival of another man, who said he was called Matthew, and a woman. “They were casually dressed and took over from the previous two men. They introduced themselves as MI5. I was concerned why MI5 would want to speak to me and listened attentively.”

In a written statement Abdullah says the officers quizzed him and said his “name had come up in circles discussing terrorist activity and it was up to me to prove where I stood. They wanted my help in tackling potential terrorists and related activity”.

He added: “They showed me some photos of a number individuals. I knew most of them well as they were friends and local associates. Some I didn’t recognise and one I wasn’t too sure about.

“This was the one they pressed me on. They also wanted details about the individuals that I knew, which I provided. I tried to be as co-operative as possible and in the end they took my number and left me theirs.

“Strangely, Matthew insisted that I save it discreetly under work or taxi. I was then escorted out and was free to leave.”

Abdullah believes MI5 wanted to turn him into a spy. “Matthew called me several times to arrange a follow-up meeting. He said he wanted me to help him in the work MI5 does. We had a phone discussion and I said that I thought that what they were trying to do was noble but I had reservations about the way in which they operate on an ethical level and was uncomfortable with that. He insisted that I meet him and said that ‘it was in my long-term interest’ to do so.”

A meeting was arranged for 22 January 2008 outside a tube station.

“I was told to meet Matthew outside Farringdon station but was directed by phone from there to a nearby location and Matthew walked with me to a hotel.”

He said he was asked about “my personal and work details – past and present. I mentioned here that I had visited Egypt in the summer of 2004 for six months to study Arabic.

“I was asked about my future plans – I mentioned that I planned to return to Egypt shortly to continue with my Arabic and Islamic studies.

“He mentioned that he really wanted me to help him with the photos. I said that I had already told him what I knew.

“In the end Matthew said that he wanted to meet me again but I wasn’t so sure any more as I could see that something was wrong.”

Despite telling MI5 he was not interested, the barrage of calls and texts pleading for a meeting just kept coming.

After that “Matthew called me a few times to arrange a further meeting. He gave me a mobile number (07522 055 947) but I decided that I didn’t want to have any more contact.”

By mid-February Abdullah was fed up. “I texted Matthew to explicitly say I wasn’t interested in any further contact and for him not to contact me anymore,” he said. “I also mentioned that if I did have any information about any threat, terrorist or otherwise, that I would naturally report it to the police. I then called my phone provider and changed my number.”

In May 2008, Matthew obtained the new number and called again. He wanted information, which Abdullah said he did not have.

But the MI5 officer, Abdullah alleges, made a threat. “He said I needed to see him before I travelled to Egypt, for my own good. Otherwise I would find it difficult over there because they had ‘international partners’.”

Abdullah said: “He was threatening me – if I go to Egypt, I might be arrested and ill treated. I took it as a threat. They could have me arrested, and tortured there. It was quite clear.”

There is no independent evidence to support the claims that police and MI5 are abusing schedule 7 stop and search powers by trying to turn innocent people into informers.

But there is a consistency of testimony from those who have been stopped and pressured to inform.

Solicitor Alastair Lyon, who has advised dozens affected by schedule 7, said: “This is a power which has sowed fear in the most vulnerable of our communities. The security services and special branch are operating in an unregulated and unchecked way without legal observers, to put pressure on people. This is a legal black hole allowing them to question thousands of people about very personal details without any of the usual human rights safeguards.” He added: “It has created a legal black hole where personal and sensitive information is, on pain of imprisonment, forced from individuals who are told that in effect they have no rights. It is a complete abuse of authority.”

For youth worker Mohammed, the link between his being stopped under schedule 7 and other approaches is clear. For a year security service officers tried to recruit him, approaching him at home, in the street, even as he ate at a tandoori restaurant. One of them, called Jeff, showed him pictures of various people.

Then on 5 November 2008, he was stopped at Stansted airport while returning from Spain and taken to a room. Mohammed said: “Then Tim came in. [He] showed me a badge and said he’s from MI5. He spoke about Jeff. ‘He’s been trying to meet me but you haven’t responded,’ said Tim.

“He reminded me that he is working for my best interest: he doesn’t want this to come out, doesn’t want for my workplace to become dirtied, my reputation – as if I’ve got something to hide and I’ve done something wrong in the first place.”

He added: “We know that you went to a terror camp, transited in Dubai and changed passports. We know you went to Dubai in 2006 and met AQ figures.”

Mohammed said: “I told him these were crazy allegations and how would they have this info anyway.”

Tim said: “We don’t need to go there ourselves, we have info from locals.”

Mohammed was let go with the promise that Tim would be in touch. He did indeed call several days later, but Mohammed did not reply.

Does this “Gestapo crap” remind anyone of this:

FBI: Stop Spying on American Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by loonwatch
Craig Montielh, Wanna-be FBI Infiltrator

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

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

Wajahat Ali writes piercingly on the topic,

Time for FBI to stop spying on American Muslims

(Guardian)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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