Archive for Spying

Why I Agree With Asra Nomani: KFC Restaurants Need to be under Constant Surveillance

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2012 by loonwatch

Asra Nomani, who is a real life Muslim, recently wrote a piece for the Daily Beast defending the NYPD’s practice of racial profiling and spying on the American Muslim community.  Haroon Moghul, another prominent American Muslim figure, blogged a response, which was cross-posted on LoonWatch.  Nomani had written in her article:

Indeed, 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 because we sure don’t police ourselves enough.

Moghul shot back:

The first part of her sentence, about Colombians, is actually right on (by her silly logic); the second part contradicts her own logic (she can call for profiling some Latinos, but she doesn’t have the courage to apply her racializing logic to white America), and everything after “I believe” speaks to how little Asra actually knows anything about the Muslim community, as well as the several seconds of your life which you could have done something better with.  For law enforcement to go after white extremism the way it seems to be going after Muslims (at least, with respect to the NYPD), they wouldn’t be going after the KKK, as Asra suggests–unless Asra means to suggest that Muslim student organizations at Yale and UPenn are offshoots of al Qaeda. Law enforcement would instead have to spy on as many white institutions (churches, civic clubs, student organizations, etc.) as they could.

Danios of LoonWatch chimed in: “Will Asra Nomani stay consistent and support spying on white people?”

But, Haroon Moghul and Danios of LoonWatch are way off: it’s not proper to compare peace-loving, good Christian white folk to Muslims or Latinos.

The real million dollar question is: should the police racially profile and spy on the black community?  Using Asra Nomani’s sage advice, I think we must.  For the longest time though, I have worried that our sense of political correctness has kept us from sensible law-enforcement strategies that carefully look at black male youth, black neighborhoods, and black hangout spots.

The LAPD and other police departments should send “rakers” into the black community–police officers whose racial background (black) and language skills (ebonics) match the places they are monitoring, including black streets, black high schools, and black hangout spots like basketball courts.

Public spaces, especially those protected from police scrutiny due to racial sensitivities, are a natural meeting spot for criminals. If the NYPD was tracking shopping malls or pizza shops where criminal activity is being planned, we wouldn’t complain. Because of racial political correctness, we’re protesting looking into black communities.  Alas, criminals and gang-bangers use our political correctness and racial sensitivity as a weapon against us.

There are other black people who believe law enforcement has to do its job and spy on black people.  I know at least four different random black people who feel the same way I do.

The last few decades of battling violence in the black community has revealed one truth: black neighborhoods are spaces used by blacks intent on criminal activity.  Asra Nomani wrote:

[M]osques and Muslim organizations are institutional spaces used by Muslims intent on criminal activity, not much unlike the pews of a Catholic church or a Godfather’s Pizza might be the secret meeting spot for members of the Italian mafia.

Nomani has done extensive research on this topic.  I heard she watched all three parts of The Godfather.  If we want to crack down on black crime, I suggest especially high surveillance of watermelon stands, basketball courts, and near white women.  As far as I’m concerned, we need plenty of “raking.”

Police and FBI sources reveal that blacks are responsible for much of the violence and crime in our nation.  Kevin Alfred Strom went through the FBI Uniform Crime Report and found the following:

According to the FBI, Blacks are more than 3 times as likely to be thieves as Whites. They are more than 4 times as likely to commit assault as Whites. They are almost 4.5 times as likely to steal a motor vehicle. According to the FBI, Blacks are more than 5 times as likely to commit forcible rape as Whites, over 8 times as likely to commit murder, and more than 10 times as likely to commit robbery. For all violent crimes considered together, Blacks are almost 5.5 times more likely to commit violent criminal acts than Whites, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report…

A few more statistics:

85% of all felonies committed against cabbies in New York City are committed by Blacks.

Nearly 25% of all Black males between the ages of 20 and 29 are in jail or on probation. This doesn’t include those wanted or awaiting trial!

Statistically, Black neighborhoods are 3500% more violent than White ones.

Nearly 25% of all Black males between the ages of 20 and 29 are in jail or on probation. This doesn’t include those wanted or awaiting trial!

Statistically, Black neighborhoods are 3500% more violent than White ones.

Well, since blacks won’t police themselves, I think it’s high time the police do it for them.  (Does anyone have an Official “I’m Black” card I can use so this sounds less offensive?)

Nomani notes:

Like the NYPD tracking the Newark restaurants where Muslims congregate, Karachi police have a local spot they have on constant surveillance: a restaurant called Student Biryani, selling a rice dish popular in the country. I learned this tracking the police case against the militants involved in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The mastermind, Omar Sheikh, met with his logistical chiefs at Student Biryani, and the police report reveals the men even took some biryani home as carryout. Militants can easily huddle in Student Biryani’s crowded restaurant space and get a hot meal and much-needed noise.

Damn those wily terrorists and their biryani bellies.  Although my extensive googling revealed no evidence for this claim that the popular food chain Student Biryani in Pakistan is under “constant surveillance” by police, I think Nomani raises a good point.  In our fight against black violence, I think we need to keep all KFC restaurants under constant surveillance.  A tracking and listening device should be included in all takeout boxes.  I once heard a gang of Bloods once ate a full 12-piece of crispy chicken at one KFC in one city at one moment in history.  Gang members can easily huddle in KFC’s crowded restaurant space and get a hot meal and much-needed noise (and chicken).

Many African countries make no apologies for monitoring their black citizens.  Neither should the LAPD or other police departments apologize for monitoring blacks.  Blacks should in fact open their doors to the surveillance and help the cops smoke out the criminals in their community, so that black neighborhoods and communities are safe spaces.

Note: If you didn’t figure it out already, the above article is not to be taken seriously and is actually a spoof of Asra Nomani’s article on American Muslims.  My purpose was to reveal how utterly revolting Nomani’s expressed views are, something that only becomes apparent when you switch out “Muslim” for black, Jewish, etc.

Addendum I:

I had thought I was being especially creative when I came up with the KFC bit, but then I realized I had missed this gem from Nomani’s original article (I almost spit my drink out when I saw it): Nomani defended the NYPD spying on

restaurants frequented by Muslims, including Kansas Fried Chicken, a place run by folks of Afghan descent, according to the report.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Asra Nomani in The Daily Beast: Spy on White People

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from avari)

By Haroon Moghul

So, Asra Nomani writes an(other) embarrasing example of self-hatred for The Daily Beast, applauding law enforcement’s apparent targeting of Muslims throughout the Greater New York City area. Her essay is riddled with simple errors, clear misperceptions of how law and constitutionalism function, an inability to process profiling, and some faulty logic, perhaps the finest instance of which is here:

Indeed, 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 because we sure don’t police ourselves enough.

The first part of her sentence, about Colombians, is actually right on (by her silly logic); the second part contradicts her own logic (she can call for profiling some Latinos, but she doesn’t have the courage to apply her racializing logic to white America), and everything after “I believe” speaks to how little Asra actually knows anything about the Muslim community, as well as the several seconds of your life which you could have done something better with.For law enforcement to go after white extremism the way it seems to be going after Muslims (at least, with respect to the NYPD), they wouldn’t be going after the KKK, as Asra suggests–unless Asra means to suggest that Muslim student organizations at Yale and UPenn are offshoots of al Qaeda. Law enforcement would instead have to spy on as many white institutions (churches, civic clubs, student organizations, etc.) as they could.

Because, of course, by Asra’s article’s painful logic, a person’s whiteness is a sufficiently significant lead to get law enforcement to pay attention to him, just as a Muslim institution is, on the grounds of its Muslimness, a target of suspicion sufficient to merit law enforcement’s full attention. This is a point Amy Davidson made far more succinctly in an excellent post at The New Yorker:

There is a difference between chasing clues and treating Islam, in and of itself, as a lead.

Does Asra mean to suggest we should be spying on white folks indiscriminately, because they, like the KKK, are white? Should we spy on white Muslims twice, since they are white and Muslim, and so somehow become extremists that hate themselves. I spoke about this issue on a far more relevant basis to Welton Gaddy of State of Belief Radio.

By the way, I’ll be at Fordham’s Manhattan campus today (Monday, March 5th), speaking about the long history of Islam and especially Islam in America. It’s free, and I’ll try to make it fun, educational, and enlightening. We’ll be starting at 6pm at Fordham’s South Lounge inside 113 West 60th Street, right off Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The event ends at 8pm.

Haroon Moghul is a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. He is an Associate Editor and columnist at Religion Dispatches and writes for the Huffington Post.

Haroon Moghul: Stop the Reckless Spying on Muslims

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by loonwatch

Stop the Reckless Spying on Muslims

by Haroon Moghul (Foreign Policy)

The United States spends millions flying diplomats around the planet to bolster America’s relationship with the Muslim world. Meanwhile, its reservoir of trust among the Muslim community at home is rapidly being depleted — courtesy of the New York Police Department (NYPD).

On Feb. 20, Yale University President Richard Levin expressed his anger at the NYPD’s extensive surveillance of American Muslim students, which has included monitoring students’ emails and websites,events and speakers, and activities — not only at Yale, but at universities across the northeast. In one frequently cited incident, an undercover police officer accompanied students from the City College of New York on a white-water rafting trip, noting their topics of conversation and the frequency of their prayers. This type of surveillance, Levin wrote, “is antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community, and the United States.”

New York City’s top officials, however, have shown no inclination to rein in the NYPD’s obsessive monitoring of American Muslims. Mayor Michael Bloomberg made light of the Yale president’s concerns, calling them “cute” and “ridiculous.” He then attacked Levin: “Yale’s freedoms to do research, to teach, to give people a place to say what they want to say is defended by the law enforcement throughout this country.”

Far from supporting academic freedom, the NYPD has done tremendous damage to campus life. Far from “keeping the country safe,” as Bloomberg stated, the NYPD is making us less safe.

I’ve worked with Muslim students across the United States — offering media training, leading workshops debunking common and pernicious myths about Muslim history, and giving lectures on Islamic law, Muslim identity, and the value of civic engagement. These students are bright, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and remarkably civic-minded. Targeting them is not merely offensive and contrary to American values and principles, but clueless. Don’t take my word for it, either. The students on whom the NYPD is spying attend some of the highest-caliber universities in the world: Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and New York University, among others.

American Muslims are, in fact, the most accomplished and educated segment of the global population of 1.5 billion Muslims. Our successes are American successes, and they undeniable evidence of America’s pluralism and promise. Restrictions on our rights fuel extremist arguments that Muslimswill never be accepted as equals in the West. For those like me who have spent years trying to shrink the trust deficit, this is a tremendous setback.

Put yourself in the shoes of an American Muslim student: One day, you learn that NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly cooperated in the production of a hateful pseudo-documentary on Islam — the film alleges American Muslim organizations are conspiring to take over the United States — even though his office initially denied his role in the project and hid the fact that the film was screened to some 1,500 officers. Would you feel that law enforcement still has your best interests in mind?

The NYPD’s surveillance efforts seem to be shockingly extensive and targeted specifically at American Muslims. As discovered by the Associated Press, which won a prestigious Polk Award for its investigation, the NYPD under Bloomberg has engaged in a massive effort to compile information on Muslims, including spying on New York City mosques. In the process, the NYPD has exceeded the limits set even by the FBI and has frequently pursued its investigations for no discernible purpose and based on no evident allegations. The only relevant consideration for the NYPD seems to have been that all Muslims are worth spying on.

On Feb. 22, we learned that the NYPD’s activities extend to Newark, New Jersey. The Associated Press’s Matt Apuzzo reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not told about what he termed the NYPD’s “disturbing” spying activities across state lines. Christie called for the state’s attorney general to investigate the NYPD’s actions, concluding on a note of frustration: “NYPD has developed a reputation of asking forgiveness rather than permission.” (Read the rest)

Surprise, Surprise: NYPD Spied on Muslims in Newark

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2012 by loonwatch

The NYPD’s secret surveillance and profiling of Muslims continues to be exposed. The most recent example is their quixotic foray into Newark. Mayor Cory Booker of Newark denies any knowledge of the “operation.”

NYPD built secret files on Newark mosques

(CBS/AP)

NEWARK, N.J. – Americans living and working in New Jersey’s largest city were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray. The operation in Newark was so secretive even the city’s mayor says he was kept in the dark.

For months in mid-2007, plainclothes officers from the NYPD’s Demographics Units fanned out across Newark, taking pictures and eavesdropping on conversations inside businesses owned or frequented by Muslims.

The result was a 60-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, containing brief summaries of businesses and their clientele. Police also photographed and mapped 16 mosques, listing them as “Islamic Religious Institutions.”

Read the document obtained by the AP (pdf)

The report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior. It was a guide to Newark’s Muslims.

According to the report, the operation was carried out in collaboration with the Newark Police Department, which at the time was run by a former high-ranking NYPD official. But Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, said he never authorized the spying and was never told about it.

“Wow,” he said as the AP laid out the details of the report. “This raises a number of concerns. It’s just very, very sobering.”

Police conducted similar operations outside their jurisdiction in New York’s Suffolk and Nassau counties on suburban Long Island, according to police records.

Such surveillance has become commonplace in New York City in the decade since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police have built databases showing where Muslims live, where they buy groceries, even what Internet cafes they use and where they watch sports. Dozens of mosques and student groups have been infiltrated and police have built detailed profiles of ethnic communities, from Moroccans to Egyptians to Albanians.

NYPD under fire for monitoring Muslim students
NYPD defends watching Muslim student associations
NYPD’s spying programs produce mixed results

The documents obtained by the AP show, for the first time in any detail, how those efforts stretched outside the NYPD’s jurisdiction. New Jersey and Long Island residents had no reason to suspect the NYPD was watching them. And since the NYPD isn’t accountable to their votes or tax dollars, those non-New Yorkers had little recourse to stop it.

“All of these are innocent people,” Nagiba el-Sioufi of Newark said while her husband, Mohammed, flipped through the NYPD report, looking at photos of mosques and storefronts frequented by their friends.

Egyptian immigrants and American citizens, the couple raised two daughters in the United States. Mohammed works as an accountant and is vice president of the Islamic Culture Center, a mosque a few blocks from Newark City Hall.

“If you have an accusation on us, then spend the money on doing this to us,” Nagiba said. “But you have no accusation.”

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not return a message seeking comment about the report. Former Newark Police Chief Garry McCarthy, who is now in charge of the Chicago Police Department, also did not return messages left on his cellphone and with a press aide.

The goal of the report, like others the Demographics Unit compiled, was to give police at-their-fingertips access to information about Muslim neighborhoods. If police got a tip about an Egyptian terrorist in the area, for instance, they wanted to immediately know where he was likely to find a cheap room to rent, where he might buy his lunch and at what mosque he probably would attend Friday prayers.

“These locations provide the maximum ability to assess the general opinions and general activity of these communities,” the Newark report said.

The effect of the program was that hundreds of American citizens were cataloged — sometimes by name, sometimes simply by their businesses and their ethnicity — in secret police files that spanned hundreds of pages:

— “A Black Muslim male named Mussa was working in the rear of store,” an NYPD detective wrote after a clandestine visit to a dollar store in Shirley, N.Y., on Long Island.

— “The manager of this restaurant is an Indian Muslim male named Vicky Amin” was the report back from an Indian restaurant in Lindenhurst, N.Y., also on Long Island.

— “Owned and operated by an African Muslim (possibly Sudanese) male named Abdullah Ddita” was the summary from another dollar store in Shirley, N.Y., just off the highway on the way to the Hamptons, the wealthy Long Island getaway.

In one report, an officer describes how he put people at ease by speaking in Punjabi and Urdu, languages commonly spoken in Pakistan.

Last summer, when the AP first began reporting about the NYPD’s surveillance efforts, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his police do not consider religion in their policing.

On Tuesday, following an AP story that showed the NYPD monitored Muslim student groups around the Northeast, school leaders including Yale president Richard Levin expressed outrage over the tactics. Bloomberg fired back in what was the most vigorous defense yet of his department.

“The police department goes where there are allegations. And they look to see whether those allegations are true,” he told reporters. “That’s what you’d expect them to do. That’s what you’d want them to do. Remind yourself when you turn out the light tonight.”

The Muslim Students Association said the police department “overstepped its boundaries when it began spying on average American Muslim college students.”

There are no allegations of terrorism in the Demographics Unit reports and the documents make clear that police were only interested in locations frequented by Muslims. The canvas of businesses in Newark mentions Islam and Muslims 27 times. In one section of the report, police wrote that the largest immigrant groups in Newark were from Portugal and Brazil. But they did not photograph businesses or churches for those groups.

“No Muslim component within these communities was identified,” police wrote, except for one business owned by a Brazilian Muslim of Palestinian descent.

Polls show that most New Yorkers strongly support the NYPD’s counterterrorism efforts and don’t believe police unfairly target Muslims. The Muslim community, however, has called for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s resignation over the spying and the department’s screening of a video that portrays Muslims as wanting to dominate the United States.

In Newark, the report was met with a mixture of bemusement and anger.

“Come, look at yourself on film,” Abdul Kareem Abdullah called to his wife as he flipped through the NYPD files at the lunch counter of their restaurant, Hamidah’s Cafe.

An American-born citizen who converted to Islam decades ago, Abdullah said he understands why, after the 9/11 terror attacks, people are afraid of Muslims. But he said he wishes the police would stop by, say hello, meet him and his customers and get to know them. The documents show police have no interest in that, he said.

“They just want to keep tabs on us,” he said. “If they really wanted to understand, they’d come talk to us.”

After the AP approached Booker, he said the mayor’s office had launched an investigation.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” he said.

Booker met with Islamic leaders while campaigning for mayor. Those interviewed by the AP said they wanted to believe he didn’t authorize the spying but wanted to hear from him directly.

“I have to look in his eyes,” Mohammed el-Sioufi said at his mosque. “I know him. I met him. He was here.”

Ironically, because officers conducted the operation covertly, the reports contains mistakes that could have been easily corrected had the officers talked to store owners or imams. If police ever had to rely on the database during an unfolding terrorism emergency as they had planned, those errors would have hindered their efforts.

For instance, locals said several businesses identified as belonging to African-American Muslims actually were owned by Afghans or Pakistanis. El-Sioufi’s mosque is listed as an African-American mosque, but he said the imam is from Egypt and the congregation is a roughly even mix of black converts and people of foreign ancestries.

“We’re not trying to hide anything. We are out in the open,” said Abdul A. Muhammad, the imam of the Masjid Ali Muslim mosque in Newark. “You want to come in? We have an open door policy.”

By choosing instead to conduct such widespread surveillance, Mohammed el-Sioufi said, police send the message that the whole community is suspect.

“When you spy on someone, you are kind of accusing them. You are not accepting them for choosing Islam,” Nagiba el-Sioufi said. “This doesn’t say, `This guy did something wrong.’ This says, `Everyone here is a Muslim.”‘

“It makes you feel uncomfortable, like this is not your country,” she added. “This is our country.”

Billions Being Spent to Spy on Americans

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by loonwatch

Our tax payer money hard at work against us.

Top secret America: Billions used to spy on Americans

(The Arab American)

A large network of military and intelligence agencies working with large corporations. The government spending billions of dollars undermining citizens’ privacy. A major database filled with names of everyday people. Self-described experts on terrorists.  Battlefield technologies being used in neighborhoods.

Though it sounds like something out of a futuristic film, it isn’t. These points describe the current post 9/11 homeland security measures, which the government says is intended to protect citizens from terror threats, according to a recent ongoing series of investigative reports by The Washington Post.

The Post released the report on the extensive security measures entitled “Top Secret America.”  The investigation was first released in July of 2010, and is a series that is being updated, with its latest installment “Monitoring America” released on December 20.

Dana Priest, one of the lead reporters on “Top Secret America,” won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for her investigation into the Walter Reed hospital debacle, and a 2006 Pulitzer for her beat reporting on CIA secret prisons.

The investigation goes into what the Washington Post calls the “fourth branch” of government, private intelligence communities that have the goal of defeating “violent extremists” according to the report.  The organizations, 263 of which have been created or reorganized in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, receive billions of dollars from the government, and do not adhere to the usual standards of personal privacy, the report said.

Ronald Stockton, professor of Political Science at University of Michigan Dearborn who authored the book “Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit After 9/11, spoke about the system that has taken shape following the attacks and since the institution of the PATRIOT Act.

“After September 11, Americans were so afraid that we threw billions of dollars at the FBI and Homeland Security and other agencies, not really knowing what needed to be done,” he said . “We created a bureaucratic monster that is so large that it cannot possibly analyze and absorb its own data or even read its own reports. The system is so big that even those who lead it cannot understand it.”

Critics of the security measures find flaws, not only in the billions used to fund the operation, but the possibility of profiling innocent individuals.

“The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously,”  the latest report said.

This database is updated by “experts” who receive their  expert status from themselves, not previous studies in institutions. They train FBI members in the understanding Islam, Muslims, and American Muslims.”

They use specialists to provide training for FBI and analysts who are supposedly specialists on Islam. People who have no PhD , and who have animosity towards Islam,” said Sally Howell, PhD, a professor of history and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn who also contributed to Stockton’s book. “It’s distressing to see these people are empowered in America.”

Local community leaders and scholars are concerned about this intelligence apparatus leading to a McCarthyism practices of conducting “witch hunts” against American Muslims. The report indicates that Michigan has been a target of the intelligence community.

“The current surveillance being conducted by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Defense Department on American citizens and residents invites abuses,” said Dawud Walid. “It is disturbing that the intelligence community equates Michigan as a location for potential terrorists simply because of our large Muslim population.”

Howell agreed with Walid’s assertions about Michigan.

“There were multiple references on Michigan. Michigan being focused on for techniques and staffing because we have a large publicly visible Muslim population in the area. There is no precedent in history where (the government) targets an area because a religious minority is there,” said Howell.

When suspicious activity is reported, often by neighbors or co-workers for reasons that are not always clear, the accused individual is not informed, and the file remains open for five years. This could lead to profiling and abuse.

“We should remember the Law of the Hammer: A little boy given a hammer for his birthday will discover that there are many things that need to be pounded,” said Stockton. “A bureaucratic system this large, with this much money to spend, will inevitably discover threats that do not exist and will do great harm to innocent individuals.”

 

Alleged Russian Spies Arrested. What If They Were Muslim?

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2010 by loonwatch
One of the spies

Many in the Islamophobosphere claim that Muslims are secret Taqiyya imposters, seeking to “Islamize” America under the guise of living “ordinary lives.” In his The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), Robert Spencer wrote:

When Shi’ite Muslims were persecuted by Sunnis, they developed the doctrine oftaqiyya, or concealment: They could lie about what they believed, denying aspects of their faith that were offensive to Sunnis…Closely related to this is the doctrine ofkitman, or mental reservation, which is telling the truth, but not the whole truth, with an intention to mislead…Remember that the next time you see a Muslim spokesman on television professing his friendship with non-Muslim Americans and his loyalty to the United States. Of course, he may be telling the truth–but he may not be telling the whole truth or he may be just lying. (p.79-81)

In fact, last Fall, four actual U.S. Representatives in the House accused the Council on American Islamic Relations of infiltrating Capitol Hill “with undercover spies.” Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia said:

If an organization is connected to or supports terrorists [and] is running influence operations or planting spies in key national security-related offices, I think this needs to be made known. So I join my colleagues here today in calling for action.

Their “evidence” was a book written by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry entitled Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America. The book is based on Chris Gaubatz, the son of David Gaubatz, posing as a Muslim convert to inflitrate and expose CAIR as “part of an organized crime network.”

Yet, last Sunday, 10 people were arrested on charges of being part of a deep-cover Russian spy network. These people lived like “ordinary Americans while secretly reporting to Moscow.” TheWashington Post reports:

Details that emerged Tuesday about the alleged spies’ lives added to the mystery of a network that prosecutors say extended from Manhattan to Seattle and the heart of the Washington area. Though utterly unremarkable to their neighbors, the suspects allegedly buried stashes of money and wrote messages in invisible ink as they sought to collect tidbits about U.S. policy and secrets.

Other details about the spies include:

Indeed, the alleged agents lived in the suburbs, went to parties and rooted for American sports teams. Eight men and women, authorities say, were “paired off” by Russian intelligence as married couples, and at least three of those four couples had children in the United States.

Two of those arrested in Arlington, a couple known as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, took their young son on walks each evening in Seattle, where they lived until last year, neighbors said. Zottoli worked for an investment firm; Mills was a stay-at-home mom. The family lived in a neat and carefully decorated fifth-floor apartment.

“How would you ever think somebody next door would be involved in something like this?” said John Morrison, a neighbor. “You wouldn’t think a spy would care about what color curtains or about making things look nice.”

Mikhail Semenko, the third Arlington resident, helped neighbors at his apartment complex dig out after last winter’s massive snowstorms. On his Facebook page, he lists a New Jersey Devils hockey player as one of his “likes.”

“He’s warm, not calculating,” said Slava Shirokov, a co-owner of the Virginia travel agency where Semenko worked. “It’s straight from a movie.”

Those familiar with the case say that the details revealed in court documents do indeed read like an old-fashioned spy novel. According to prosecutors, the spies’ real purpose was to:

…infiltrate academic, policymaking and government-connected circles. Semenko, for example, often attended events sponsored by embassies and nongovernmental organizations.

Donald Howard Heathfield, an international business consultant who lived with his “wife,” Tracey Lee Ann Foley, and their two teenage sons in Cambridge, Mass., sought membership in more than 30 professional, academic and business associations — including one linked to the Department of Homeland Security, according to his page on LinkedIn.

More direct hints emerge in court documents. When agents covertly searched Foley’s bank safety deposit box in 2001, they found a series of photographic negatives of her. The name of the company that produced the negatives had been excised on all but one. Authorities identified the producer of the final negative as TACMA, a Soviet film company, court documents said.

Last Fall, we had actual Members of Congress accuse CAIR of implanting “spies” in the U.S. Congress, while there were individuals living as “ordinary Americans” but actually spying for a foreign government. These people were actually doing what many in the Islamophobe sphere accuse ordinary American Muslims of doing: posing as “ordinary Americans” but being something else entirely. Why, that’s Taqiyya!

But, what if these alleged Russian spies were Muslim? Think of the absolute hysteria of the Islamophobes: they would be claiming that they were right all along about Muslims; they would be calling on investigations and racial profiling of all American Muslims; they would be screamingTaqiyya! from the tops of their lungs.

Meanwhile, there were actual spies living in America who were recently caught. And the Islamophobes are silent…because the arrested spies are not Mooslims. Forgive my Canadian: pathetic, eh?