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Friday, December 11, 2015

Truth, terror, infiltration and disinformation

Most people still can't get their heads around the idea that the west created ISIS, either directly or indirectly. In the video embedded above, Pilger packs in many an unspoken truth. A must-watch.

Meanwhile, on the domestic terrorism front... The right-wing sites are paying a lot of attention to the claims made on Fox News by this guy.
During an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Thursday, Philip Haney said that in 2012 as an agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center, he opened an investigation into a Sunni Islamic group called, Tablighi Jamaat, a subset of the fundamentalist Deobandi movement.

But Haney said that just a year into the investigation it was shut down by the State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

The reason the investigation was quashed? Because the federal government did not want to profile Islamic groups, Haney told Kelly.
Also see here.

Philip Haney's claim is as absurd as his hair. It is quite apparent that the federal government has been profiling -- and infiltrating -- Islamic groups.

See, for example, this Newsweek story from 2008, headlined "Terror Watch: FBI Agents Infiltrate Muslim Groups."
A recent federal trial in Ohio offers new details about how the FBI uses informants in Muslim communities to gather intelligence on domestic terrorist threats.
Here's a 2009 story by CNN: "FBI planting spies in U.S. mosques, Muslim groups say."
The groups claim the FBI has sent undercover agents posing as worshippers into mosques, pressured Muslims to become informants, labeled civil rights advocates as criminals and spread misinformation.
Here's a Guardian story from 2012 about an FBI infiltrator named Craig Monteilh.
It is an astonishing admission that goes to the heart of the intelligence surveillance of Muslim communities in America in the years after 9/11. While police and FBI leaders have insisted they are acting to defend America from a terrorist attack, civil liberties groups have insisted they have repeatedly gone too far and treated an entire religious group as suspicious.
Here's an AP story from 2012: "NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast."
In recent months, the AP has revealed secret programs the NYPD built with help from the CIA to monitor Muslims at the places where they eat, shop and worship. The AP also published details about how police placed undercover officers at Muslim student associations in colleges within the city limits; this revelation has outraged faculty and student groups.
Here is a Guardian story from 2014: "Government agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots"
Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social services agency, told the Guardian she almost has a "radar for informants" sent to infiltrate her Brooklyn community.

While the FBI has long relied on confidential informants to alert them to criminal activity, for terrorism cases informants insert themselves into Muslim mosques, businesses and community gatherings and can cajole people toward a plot “who perhaps would never have participated in a terrorist act on their own initiative”, the study found.
Here is a 2014 story published by Care2: "FBI Targeted Mentally Disabled Muslim American Citizens"
In one instance a man named Rezwan Ferdaus was targeted by an FBI agent who infiltrated his local mosque. Although the FBI concluded he had mental disabilities, the FBI agent worked to gain the trust of Ferdaus. As they grew closer, the FBI agent convinced him to participate in a plot to blow up the Pentagon and US Capitol.
And here is a 2015 story in Counterpunch: "How FBI Informants Do Their Dirty Work"
This new class of FBI informants, nefariously referred to as ‘mosque crawlers’, began frequenting Muslim institutions and neighborhoods across the country. After ensnaring victims in ‘sting operations’, these informants would furnish evidence in court, helping to send hundreds of these entrapped individuals to prison.
I could go on -- and on, and on -- but the point is made. Philip Haney is spewing propaganda. The claim that "the federal government did not want to profile Islamic groups" may thrill the Fox-addicted right-wing cranks who think that Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim, but this ridiculous notion has no basis in reality.

More than that: I can find no independent evidence linking Farook and Malik to Tablighi Jamaat or Deobandi. If you do a search on the terms "Farook" "Malik" and "Tablighi Jamaat," all of the results go to stories about Phil Haney.

Tabligh Jamaat is an evangelical Muslim organization -- primarily centered in Pakistan and India -- which eschews violence and advocates proselytization. It is not tied to any specific form of Islam. Former CIA official Graham Fuller has pronounced the group "peaceful and apolitical."

So why is Haney obsessed by that particular group when there are so many greater dangers in the world? You got me!

She pushed a few paranoia buttons.
Fascinatingly, it seems that in the real world (a place rarely visited by Fox News), Islamic groups wanted nothing to do with Tashfeen Malik because they thought that she was an FBI infiltrator!
The number of organizations that Malik, 29, tried to contact and how she sought to reach them was unclear, but the groups almost certainly included al Qaeda’s Syria-based official affiliate, the Nusrah Front, the government sources said.
As I never tire of reminding my readers, David Petraeus said that we should partner up with Nusra. We became angry when Russia bombed Nusra along with ISIS targets in Syria. Does this mean that Tashfeen was simply trying to follow Petraeus' lead...?

By the way: Can anyone tell me why the FBI is searching Seccombe Lake in San Bernardino in connection with the Farook/Malik rampage? Even if all you have is a wild guess, I'd like to hear it...
I heard something about a hard drive. When I destroy hard drives (at work, for junked computers) I get out the torx driver, open up the drive and remove the platters. I then smash them into bits.
One searches a lake to find evidence concealed therein. No evidence is needed regarding the rampage, so for some other, earlier, crime. Perhaps the body of someone with knowledge of what they were planning.
None of your examples regard long-term general surveillance of Islamic groups by the FBI; and many are from parties which are not very trustworthy, or unbiased, even less so than Fox News. Sending someone into a mosque to make a contact, and keeping track of *everyone* associated with a mosque, are two very different things. It's like a wiretap on an individual that has to stop if it doesn't find anything vs. NSA-style metadata collection.
Oh and to finish that point... from a legal / political POV, I'm guessing that going into a group to see if *individuals* approach you who you then (en)trap is arguably not targeting the group as a whole. Whereas if you start doing something that targets every single person who has contact with a group, long-term, it's kind of hard to say that group isn't be targeted. I think this is what NYPD+CIA were doing; I don't think there were any articles saying the FBI did that, at least not after this guy left.
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