[Pnews] FBI Targeted US Muslims in Pre-Election Mass Surveillance Sweep

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 16 17:40:33 EST 2017


http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/FBI-Targeted-US-Muslims-in-Pre-Election-Mass-Surveillance-Sweep-20170116-0007.html 



  FBI Targeted US Muslims in Pre-Election Mass Surveillance Sweep

January 16, 2017

In the days before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, the FBI 
was conducting a surveillance sweep across Muslim communities in the 
United States.

Ahmed was one of them.

A doctor of Pakistani heritage who didn't have so much as a parking 
ticket to his name, he was surprised — then scared — to see the FBI on 
his doorstep one day.

The agents said they had intelligence of a terrorist attack that might 
occur on Election Day following the death of al-Qaida leader Farouq 
Qahtani Qatari, and then proceeded to probe Ahmed about his family, 
hobbies, donations and more.

“I didn’t know my rights,” Ahmed, speaking under an alias name, told the 
Guardian, “that I could tell them to reschedule it or I could refuse to 
talk to them.”

Ahmed was just one of 109 people who contacted the Washington-based 
Council of American Islamic Relations to say the FBI had paid them a 
visit before the election.

Ahmed Shibly, CAIR-Florida’s chief executive director, said the majority 
of calls received were from predominantly Pakistani or Afghan Muslims, 
many who are doctors, and they came from all over the country.

“We basically discovered that it was a nationwide sweep,” Shibly told 
The Guardian. “Simply based on their faith and ethnicity.”

Mike German, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Brennan Center for 
Justice, said the incidents strike him as alarming.

“The idea that the FBI would do that days before an election is a bit 
shocking,” German told The Guardian. “Particularly when the information 
they’re providing is that there’s a potential threat to the election so 
that would suggest going to vote would be dangerous and that they’re 
specifically targeting groups by their religious beliefs, I think is 
quite inappropriate.”

“When an FBI agent does an investigation, they’re looking for very 
specific pieces of the puzzle they think that the witness they’re 
interviewing possesses,” German added. “But that doesn’t seem like what 
was going on here.”

German was cautionary about the Trump administration’s ability to 
conduct mass, blanket operations like these.

“With some of the campaign rhetoric that pandered to racism against 
Mexican immigrants and the Muslim community, I would be concerned that 
the lax FBI guidelines would empower any agents who held those 
sentiments to conduct intrusive investigations,” he said. “It’s a great 
concern to any of us working on (these) issues.”

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