For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
FBI is “Cooking Up” Cases Against Muslims
SUE UDRY, [in D.C] (301) 325-1201, sue.udry[at]defendingdissent.org, @defenddissent
Executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation, she said this afternoon: “The New York Times reported today that the FBI has increased its use of sting operations in ISIS cases. To be clear, this is not a new tactic.
“A 2014 study, “Inventing Terrorists: the Lawfare of Preventive Prosecution” by Project Salam and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, found that almost every domestic terrorist plot from 2001 to 2010 was in some way cooked up or assisted (and eventually ‘busted’) by the FBI. The report analyzed about 400 domestic terror cases and found only that only four cases were initiated or driven without the encouragement of the bureau.
“A report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the International Human Rights Clinic in 2012 also studied the use of sting operations and asserted that ‘the government’s use of intrusive surveillance, untrained paid informants, and manufactured terrorism plots raises serious human rights concerns that must immediately be addressed.’
“While outrage has rightly been focused on Donald Trump’s Islamo-racist rants, attention should also be paid to the Bush and Obama administration’s long-running ‘counterterrorism’ policies that fan the flames of bigotry. The use of paid informants to entrap and demonize vulnerable members of the Muslim community has been a centerpiece of the FBI’s war on terror since 9/11. And it works well for them: each plot they foil is a feather in their cap, but it also boosts the number of terror plots that are supposedly threatening the homeland.
“But the consequences for the Muslim community have been severe. These fake plots provide ‘evidence’ for the media and unscrupulous politicians to demonize all Muslims and equate terrorism with Islam. Informants target members of the community who are vulnerable, often facing mental, emotional and financial challenges, and manipulate them. In court, their strong religious or political beliefs are turned against them. Expressions of outrage over Abu Graib or Guantanamo is used as evidence of a predisposition to commit a criminal act, and justification for the sting operation itself, raising serious First Amendment concerns.
“Entrapment is notoriously difficult to prove in court, and the FBI has thus far been able to successfully dodge that charge. But, that doesn’t mean the use of informants has been ethical, fair, or constitutional.”
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