// FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’
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« on: Sep 15, 2011 04:08 PM »


From
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-muslims-radical/

Hope that this should find its way into the defense for some of the people set up by the Agent Provocateurs... No wonder illegal entrapment is so rampant.

 

The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”

At the Bureau’s training ground in Quantico, Virginia, agents are shown a chart contending that the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent.” Those destructive tendencies cannot be reversed, an FBI instructional presentation adds: “Any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law; a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”

These are excerpts from dozens of pages of recent FBI training material on Islam that Danger Room has acquired. In them, the Constitutionally protected religious faith of millions of Americans is portrayed as an indicator of terrorist activity.

“There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology,” one FBI presentation notes. “The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”

The FBI isn’t just treading on thin legal ice by portraying ordinary, observant Americans as terrorists-in-waiting, former counterterrorism agents say. It’s also playing into al-Qaida’s hands.

Focusing on the religious behavior of American citizens instead of proven indicators of criminal activity like stockpiling guns or using shady financing makes it more likely that the FBI will miss the real warning signs of terrorism. And depicting Islam as inseparable from political violence is exactly the narrative al-Qaida spins — as is the related idea that America and Islam are necessarily in conflict. That’s why FBI whistleblowers provided Danger Room with these materials.

Over the past few years, American Muslim civil rights groups have raised alarm about increased FBI and police presence in Islamic community centers and mosques, fearing that their lawful behavior is being targeted under the broad brush of counterterrorism. The documents may help explain the heavy scrutiny.

They certainly aren’t the first time the FBI has portrayed Muslims in a negative light during Bureau training sessions. As Danger Room reported in July, the FBI’s Training Division has included anti-Islam books, and materials that claim Islam “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.” When Danger Room confronted the FBI with that material, an official statement issued to us claimed, “The presentation in question was a rudimentary version used for a limited time that has since been replaced.”

But these documents aren’t relics from an earlier era. One of these briefings, titled “Strategic Themes and Drivers in Islamic Law,” took place on March 21.

The Islam briefings are elective, not mandatory. “A disclaimer accompanied the presentation stating that the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government,” FBI spokesman Christopher Allen tells Danger Room.

“The training materials in question were delivered as Stage Two training to counterterrorism-designated agents,” Allen adds. “This training was largely derived from a variety of open source publications and includes the opinion of the analyst that developed the lesson block.”

Not all counterterrorism veterans consider the briefings so benign. “Teaching counterterrorism operatives about obscure aspects of Islam,” says Robert McFadden, who recently retired as one of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service’s al-Qaida-hunters, “without context, without objectivity, and without covering other non-religious drivers of dangerous behavior is no way to stop actual terrorists.”

Still, at Quantico, the alleged connection between Islam and violence isn’t just stipulated. It’s literally graphed.

An FBI presentation titled “Militancy Considerations” measures the relationship between piety and violence among the texts of the three Abrahamic faiths. As time goes on, the followers of the Torah and the Bible move from “violent” to “non-violent.” Not so for devotees of the Koran, whose “moderating process has not happened.” The line representing violent behavior from devout Muslims flatlines and continues outward, from 610 A.D. to 2010. In other words, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.

Training at Quantico isn’t designed for intellectual bull sessions or abstract theory, according to FBI veterans. The FBI conducts its training so that both seasoned agents and new recruits can sharpen their investigative skills.

In this case, the FBI’s Allen says, the counterterrorism agents who received these briefings have “spent two to three years on the job.” The briefings are written accordingly. The stated purpose of one, about allegedly religious-sanctioned lying, is to “identify the elements of verbal deception in Islam and their impacts on Law Enforcement.” Not “terrorism.” Not even “Islamist extremism.” Islam.
According to this FBI training, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.

What’s more, the Islamic “insurgency” is all-encompassing and insidious. In addition to outright combat, its “techniques” include “immigration” and “law suits.” So if a Muslim wishes to become an American or sues the FBI for harassment, it’s all just part of the jihad.

On Tuesday, the leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), warned that law enforcement lacks “meaningful standards” to prevent anti-Islam material from seeping into counterterrorism training. Some FBI veterans suspect the increased pressure on American Muslims has a lot to do with the kind of training that Quantico offers.

“Seeing the materials FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, from infiltrating mosques with agents provocateur to racial- and ethnic-mapping programs,” Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the American Civil Liberties Union, tells Danger Room after being shown the documents. ”Biased police training can only result in biased policing.” (Full disclosure: This reporter’s wife works for the ACLU.)

The chief of the Training Division, Assistant FBI Director Thomas Browne, came into his current job in January. His official biography lists no terrorism expertise beyond serving as a coordinator for a bureau “Domestic Terrorism Program” in Tennessee sometime in the last decade.

It is unclear what vetting process the FBI used to approve these briefings; if any Muslim scholars contributed to them; and what criteria Quantico uses to determine Islamic expertise. “The development of effective training is a constantly evolving process,” says FBI spokesman Allen. “Sometimes the training is adapted for long-term use. This particular training segment was delivered a single time and not used since.”

Several of these briefings were the work of a single author: an FBI intelligence analyst named William Gawthrop. In 2006, before he joined the Bureau, he gave an interview to the website WorldNetDaily, and discussed some of the themes that made it into his briefings, years later. The Prophet “Muhammad’s mindset is a source for terrorism,” Gawthrop told the website, which would later distinguish itself as a leader of the “birther” movement, a conspiracy theory that denies President Obama’s American citizenship.

At the time, Gawthrop’s major suggestion for waging the war on terrorism was to attack what he called “soft spots” in Islamic faith that might “induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target.” That is, to discredit Islam itself and cause Muslims to abandon their religion. “Critical vulnerabilities of the Koran, for example, are that it was uttered by a mortal,” he said. Alas, he lamented, he faced the bureaucratic obstacle of official Washington’s “political taboo of linking Islamic violence to the religion of Islam,” according to the website.

Back then, however, Gawthrop didn’t work for the FBI. He had recently stepped down from a position with the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity. That agency came under withering criticism during the Bush administration for keeping a database about threats to military bases that included reports on peaceful antiwar protesters and dovish Church groups. It is unclear how Gawthrop came to work for the FBI.

Through an intermediary, Gawthrop told Danger Room that he was unavailable for comment before our deadline.
‘Instead of looking for indicators of nefarious behavior, you have a sweeping generalization.’

The FBI didn’t always conflate terrorism with Islam. “I never saw that,” says Ali Soufan, one of the FBI’s most distinguished counterterrorism agents and author of the new memoir The Black Banners, who retired from the bureau in 2005. “Sometimes, toward the end of my time, I started noticing it with different entities outside the FBI. You started feeling like they had a problem with Islam-as-Islam, because of the media. But that was a few people, and was usually hidden behind closed doors.”

Soufan, a Muslim, has interrogated members of al-Qaida and contributed to rolling up one of its cells in Yemen after 9/11. But by the logic of the FBI’s training materials, Soufan’s religious practices make him a potential terrorist.

McFadden, the former NCIS counterterrorist, has a lot of respect for his FBI colleagues, who he believes are ill-served by these Islam briefings. “These are earnest special agents and police officers who want to know how do their job better,” McFadden says.

Too often, McFadden says, counterterrorism training becomes simultaneously over-broad and ignorant. “Instead of looking for indicators of nefarious behavior, you have a sweeping generalization of things like, for instance, the Hawala system,” McFadden explains. “It’s a system that most of the developing world and expatriates from it use to move money around, including terrorists. But you can’t say the whole hawala system is about terrorism, just like you can’t say that Islam as a whole has anything to do with bad behavior.”

McFadden, a Catholic, believes that obsessing over obscure Koranic verses is as useful a guide to terrorist behavior as “diving into the rite of exorcism” is to understanding Catholicism.

On April 6, barely two weeks after the “Islamic Motivations for ‘Suicide’ Bombers” briefing at Quantico, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the bureau’s budget before a congressional committee. Among his major points: the FBI needs cooperation from American Muslims to stop the next terrorist attack.

“Since September 11th, every one of our 56 field offices and the leadership of those offices have had outreach to the Muslim community,” Mueller said. “We need the support of that community … our business is basically relationships.” That is exactly the opposite message sent in the training rooms of Quantico, where the next generation of FBI counterterrorism is shaped.
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2011 05:46 PM »

wsalam,

i do wonder if this can be used as a defense ie  that the agents were "prejudiced" going in. we know agent provocateurs though have tons of incentive to get results (ie avoiding jail time, getting paid, being "blackmailed" by the authorities) and sometimes this can be used in the courts but i do wonder if 'they were taught all muslims were violent terrorists etc can be used'. the reason why all these cases of entrapment have not been declared "entrapment" which is illegal, is that they say the people they target had a predilection to commit violence. now if they're saying EVERY Muslim has a predilection that's just scary.

but i do think this very telling of their practices and now we've learned that even local police groups like the NYPD also follow their model. this is why they never catch the real terrorists!! they target innocent, religious (mostly naive) muslims, mainstream muslims and mosques. and then these crazies who never even attend mosques ie faisal shahzad and other real terrorists are never even on their grid.
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2011 06:38 PM »

In related news a very very interesting 18 page policy brief:

policy brief by Sahar Aziz examines gov't use of material support laws to target Muslim Americans & groups

http://bit.ly/qf4jCf

I'll add the conclusion here but the whole paper is welllllllll worth reading!!:

===============================

CONCLUSION

Ten years after 9/11, the American government’s
preventative counterterrorism strategy has cost
millions of taxpayer dollars, diverted thousands of law
enforcement personnel away from preventing nonterrorism-
related crimes, and failed to prevent terrorist
attacks committed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Rather than engage in responsible governance and
reassess failed strategies, it continues to employ fearbased
narratives to persuade the public to keep pouring
billions of dollars into flawed and ineffective national
security projects.

Evidence of the failure of counterterrorism strategies is
ample. The government has failed to prevent some of the
most serious attempted terrorist plots over the past few
years. But for a fortuitous technical failure and the rapid
response of a Muslim Mauritanian reporting the smoke,
thousands of people could have been killed in Times
Square. Similarly, the Nigerian Christmas Day bomber
would have successfully killed hundreds on an airplane
headed for Detroit if his bomb had not failed to ignite.
White supremacist James Cummings83 was actively
constructing a lethal dirty bomb at home undetected
by the FBI. Only after his wife shot him in self-defense
did the government discover his terrorist plot. In other
cases, terrorists succeeded in terrorizing the American
public without government intervention. Joseph Stack
flew an airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas,
in protest of IRS demands that he pay his taxes.84 His
terrorist attack killed an IRS employee who was a military
veteran. Had the attack occurred at a different time of
day, hundreds of IRS employees could have been killed.
Jared Lee Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle
Giffords (D-AZ) and killed six people due to both his
mental illness and questionable political objectives.

While countering terrorism is no easy feat, it is
remarkable that the government was unable to prevent
these attacks after having invested so many resources
into counterterrorism, often at the expense of the
civil liberties of all Americans. Despite the creation of
numerous fusion centers nationwide, the relaxation of
surveillance laws,86 the use of technology to surveil nearly
every aspect of life in this country, and the reallocation
of thousands of agents to countering terrorism, the
government has yet to show results proportionate to
the monumental vested resources. In the apt words of
David Cole and Jules Lobel, we have become both less
safe and less free.

What these strategies accomplish quite well is the
stigmatization of more than 6 million Muslims in the
United States because of the illegal acts of a handful of
Muslims – some of whom are foreign and have no ties
whatsoever to this country. Many American Muslims feel
that they live a second-class existence because their
houses of worship are more likely than others’ to be under
surveillance and monitored. Their Internet activity is more
likely to be under heightened scrutiny for any signs of
political dissent. Their religious practices are under the
microscope by purported terrorist experts who cannot
tell the difference between orthodox Islamic practices
and bona fide terrorist activity. And, Muslim women’s
religious headwear is perceived as an insignia for terrorist
inclinations that justify discriminatory treatment.

Predictably, what started out as a focus on vulnerable
religious and racial minorities has now spread to a
broader segment of Americans. Laws prohibiting
material support to terrorism that were initially applied to
Muslim individuals and institutions are increasingly being
enforced against various individuals and institutions
engaged in humanitarian aid, peace building, and human
rights advocacy. Non-Muslim activist groups who have
been engaged in legitimate advocacy for decades are
now being targeted for investigation and potential
prosecution pursuant to material support to terrorism
laws.90 A combination of public apathy about the state
of civil liberties, pervasive stereotypes of Muslims as
terrorists, and government misinformation about the
efficacy of counterterrorism policies has facilitated
increased surveillance and investigative authorities
commonly found in police states.

Perhaps the most troubling factor in recent national
security discourse is the increasingly alarmist and overtly
biased collective categorization of Muslims as terrorists.
Specifically, Representative Peter King’s (R-NY) recent
Congressional hearings, characterized as a political
circus by some, legitimized America’s worst fears.92
That American Muslims are so distrusted as to warrant
hearings focused solely on questioning their loyalty is
reminiscent of our nation’s collective punishment of
Japanese Americans during WWII.

The silver lining in the disconcerting homegrown
terrorism debates is the broad coalition of groups
that rejected King’s presumptions of collective guilt
on Muslims on account of the bad acts of a few.
Christian, Jewish, and civil rights groups representing
a diversity of demographics challenged the merits of
limiting “homegrown terrorism” to terrorism committed
only by Muslims.

Unfortunately, insufficient attention was paid to the
importance of allowing Muslims, and all Americans in
general, to express political dissent openly despite the
unpopularity of their views. Instead, Muslim groups
and their allies sought to reassure political leaders
and a suspicious public of the Muslim Americans’
undying loyalty to the nation and their status as “model
minorities.”94 Rather than focusing on the right of
Americans, including Muslims, to be radical so long as
their activities do not violate the law, the Muslim groups
and their allies adopted King’s narrative to shape Muslim
political beliefs and religious practices in accordance
with a definition of a citizen who is passive toward their
government. Indeed, the homegrown terrorism hearings
were a missed opportunity to shift the focus on the
fundamental American principle to hold unpopular or
controversial views, rather than to prove the innocence
of a suspected religious minority.

It is long past time for the government to reassess
the successes and failures of its counterterrorism
policies over the past ten years. Are we safer, or have
we just been lucky? Has the PATRIOT Act made our
government better able to prevent terrorism? Is it time for
Americans, as members of Congress have proclaimed,
to thoughtfully debate the Act’s efficacy and whether
its infringements on all Americans’ civil liberties are
warranted?95 Are we seeking to rationalize our forfeiture
of civil liberties by convincing ourselves that our national
security policies work, irrespective of the facts on the
ground? If we cannot answer these questions with
concrete evidence, then we have little to show for the
last ten years of significant government expenditure,
public anxiety, and the high civil liberties costs imposed
on a significant number of Americans.

In light of our nation’s checkered civil rights record
and ample opportunity to learn from the past, there is
simply no excuse for repeating the same mistakes on
yet another different and vulnerable minority group.
Preventing a terrorist attack need not come at the
expense of vilifying a religious minority. Nor should
it require sacrificing this country’s most fundamental
civil rights and liberties.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2011 08:15 PM »

Definitely a scary development and thought; and as you guys know, we had the case of entrapment last Christmas in Portland, so it looks like it's all around us sadly . .

Agree  Smiley with your point Sis J - they target people who are most likely and most commonly innocent and thus miss / disregard those who are truly dangerous.


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The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another:  [9:71]
moderatesufi
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 16, 2011 02:40 PM »

What is new?
Everyone knows America is at war with Islam.
It isn't just us being against Israel which is the Problem.
It isn't even our prayer, fasting and Hijab.
What is the problem is our Lailahaillalah.
And until we leave it, they will be against us.
So don't think you will be ok from their oppression if you reject Hijab, like many have done. Or reject Zakat as others have done.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 17, 2011 11:43 PM »

FBI halts anti-Muslim training

The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another:  [9:71]
moderatesufi
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 18, 2011 09:59 AM »

It was mentioned in the video that it goes against the American constitution and the religious freedoms it is there to safe guard.
The issue is, the American constitution has never ever safeguarded to religions of others.
It was made for White, Christians and White Jews to safe guard their own religious freedoms. What was never ever there to prevent white Christians and white Jews from persecuting the people of other faiths.
Remember these people who wrote it were the same people who slaughtered the native Americans and forced the survivors in to Christianity.
These Kidnapped Muslims out of Africa, enslaved them and forced them in to Christianity with the whip and bullets.
So when the people who wrote the constitution had such a disregard for it in regard to the other, why would you think people many generations down will be restricted by it in regards to us?
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