// FBI director defends use of informants in mosques
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« on: Jun 09, 2009 07:04 AM »


FBI director defends use of informants in mosques

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 31 mins ago
LOS ANGELES – FBI Director Robert Mueller on Monday defended the agency's use of informants within U.S. mosques, despite complaints from Muslim organizations that worshippers and clerics are being targeted instead of possible terrorists.

Mueller's comments came just days after a Michigan Muslim organization asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking the faithful to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers. Similar alarm followed the disclosure earlier this year that the FBI planted a spy in Southern California mosques.

"We don't investigate places, we investigate individuals," Mueller said during a brief meeting with reporters in Los Angeles.

"To the extent that there may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will ... undertake those investigations," Mueller added. "We will continue to do it."

He called relations with U.S. Muslims "very good," but acknowledged disagreements without providing specifics.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after mosques and other groups reported members of the community have been asked to monitor people coming to mosques and donations they make. The FBI's Detroit office has denied the allegations.

In the California case, information about the informant who spied on the Islamic Center of Irvine came out at a February detention hearing for a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, an Afghan native and naturalized U.S. citizen named Ahmadullah Niazi who is accused of lying on his citizenship and passport applications about terrorism ties.

Local Muslim leaders say they suspected since at least since 2006 that the FBI was trying to infiltrate Muslim organizations in the area.

"History disputes Mr. Mueller's statements, at least in Southern California," said Shakeel Syed, executive of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.

"It doesn't alleviate anything. It only continues to show the sheer arrogance demonstrated by the bureau in holding Muslim community members, clerics, mosques, as suspects," Syed said. He is among community leaders in court seeking government records of surveillance.

FBI agents and prosecutors say spying on mosques is one of the best weapons to uncover lurking terrorists or threats to national security, but it has posed a politically and legally thorny issue with Muslims who see themselves as unjustly monitored.

"The FBI needs to do what it needs to do, certainly," Syed said. But the agency is "trying to incite and entrap" law-abiding people.

Mueller also said that there will be no change in the FBI's priorities in the new administration.

"I would not expect that we would in any way take our foot off the pedal of addressing counterterrorism," he said.

"My expectation is that we'll see an uptick in terms of resources devoted toward our domestic criminal responsibilities, but we will not ... relax our responsibilities when it come to counterterrorism or counterintelligence," he added.

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 31 mins ago
LOS ANGELES – FBI Director Robert Mueller on Monday defended the agency's use of informants within U.S. mosques, despite complaints from Muslim organizations that worshippers and clerics are being targeted instead of possible terrorists.

Mueller's comments came just days after a Michigan Muslim organization asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking the faithful to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers. Similar alarm followed the disclosure earlier this year that the FBI planted a spy in Southern California mosques.

"We don't investigate places, we investigate individuals," Mueller said during a brief meeting with reporters in Los Angeles.

"To the extent that there may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will ... undertake those investigations," Mueller added. "We will continue to do it."

He called relations with U.S. Muslims "very good," but acknowledged disagreements without providing specifics.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after mosques and other groups reported members of the community have been asked to monitor people coming to mosques and donations they make. The FBI's Detroit office has denied the allegations.

In the California case, information about the informant who spied on the Islamic Center of Irvine came out at a February detention hearing for a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, an Afghan native and naturalized U.S. citizen named Ahmadullah Niazi who is accused of lying on his citizenship and passport applications about terrorism ties.

Local Muslim leaders say they suspected since at least since 2006 that the FBI was trying to infiltrate Muslim organizations in the area.

"History disputes Mr. Mueller's statements, at least in Southern California," said Shakeel Syed, executive of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.

"It doesn't alleviate anything. It only continues to show the sheer arrogance demonstrated by the bureau in holding Muslim community members, clerics, mosques, as suspects," Syed said. He is among community leaders in court seeking government records of surveillance.

FBI agents and prosecutors say spying on mosques is one of the best weapons to uncover lurking terrorists or threats to national security, but it has posed a politically and legally thorny issue with Muslims who see themselves as unjustly monitored.

"The FBI needs to do what it needs to do, certainly," Syed said. But the agency is "trying to incite and entrap" law-abiding people.

Mueller also said that there will be no change in the FBI's priorities in the new administration.

"I would not expect that we would in any way take our foot off the pedal of addressing counterterrorism," he said.

"My expectation is that we'll see an uptick in terms of resources devoted toward our domestic criminal responsibilities, but we will not ... relax our responsibilities when it come to counterterrorism or counterintelligence," he added.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090609/ap_on_re_us/us_mosque_surveillance;_ylt=ApoRCYI8xWKpSNQcvyPtT_tH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTM2cnM0N3VoBGFzc2V0Ay9hcC8yMDA5MDYwOS9hcF9vbl9yZV91cy91c19tb3NxdWVfc3VydmVpbGxhbmNlBGNwb3MDNARwb3MDNARzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA2ZiaWRpcmVjdG9yZA--

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 10, 2009 08:20 PM »

Salam

Let's just be very, very careful of what we say.  We know that the scumbags being used by the FBI are just trying to catch ANYONE who opens their mouth, whether or not they are a terrorist is pretty irrelevent.  These people are paid to get results.  And also remember no matter how well you think you know someone, they could always be an informer - this has indeed happened.
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 10, 2009 09:53 PM »

ws,

one of the FBI directors said this is what they wanted, to make Muslims believe they could never trust each other again. "to spark fear, havoc and disunity among them" i think suspecting everyone and censoring everything we say or do "in case someone misinterprets it" is really negative for us as a community. i know we should be careful and obviously not say stupid things but i think as long as we're aware and are careful and are educated about the strategies we'd be better off. meaning we should change the way we do business but not change the business itself (if that makes sense?)
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 11, 2009 01:09 PM »

WS . . agreed with ya Sis J. It does seem like they want to break up the Brotherhood/Sistergood that I think is so unique to us among the 3 Monotheistic Faiths. Yes, there are bad apples out there, as there are in every group, but if I had to be wary of anyone, I hope, really hope it doesn't end up being those in our local communities, especially those I have known for so long. That's a scary thought . . we must stand strong. To put in more elegantly or rather, refer to what Allah Himself told us . . . (see my signature below)

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