LOS ANGELES (CN) - In a federal class action, Muslims claim the FBI hired an "agent provocateur" to infiltrate mosques and "indiscriminately collect personal information on hundreds and perhaps thousands of innocent Muslim Americans in Southern California."
The class claims the agents had their snitch provide illegal drugs to Muslims and snoop on their sex lives, and that the fruitless "dragnet investigation" did not end until "members of the Muslim communities of Southern California reported the informant to the police because of his violent rhetoric, and ultimately obtained a restraining order against him."
Represented by the ACLU and Council on American-Islam Relations, the three named plaintiffs say the FBI's agent provocateur's "violent rhetoric" about "jihad and armed conflict" disrupted their religious practice.
The class claims the FBI has been profiling Muslim communities since Sept. 11, 2001, and requested interviews with hundreds of Muslims, "often by sending FBI agents to appear unannounced" to their homes or workplaces, to question them about religious practices.
This despite the fact that in 2006, the FBI's Assistant Director for the Los Angeles area, Stephen Tidwell, assured a Muslim group that the FBI would never send an undercover informant to spy on believers.
But in July 2006, FBI agents Kevin Armstrong and Paul Allen directed undercover informant Craig Monteilh to infiltrate the mosques in Southern California and paid him $6,000 to $11,000 per month create video and audio recordings of Muslim activities, the plaintiffs claim. They add that Monteilh was provided with "sophisticated audio and video recording devices."
Monteilh then publicly declared his Muslim faith during a prayer in front of hundreds of members of the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI), and immersed himself in the religion, the class says.
Monteilh went to 10 mosques in the area to interact with followers, and attended up to four mosques in one day. Armstrong and Allen ordered him to "gather as much information on as many people in the Muslim community as possible," the class claims...
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- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html