- A recent New York University School of Law Center for
Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) report is titled, "Targeted
and Entrapped: Manufacturing the 'Homegrown Threat' in the United States."
- Post-9/11, Muslims have been ruthlessly targeted. Paid
informants have infested mosques and their communities to entrap them.
As a result, over 200 were persecuted on bogus terrorism related charges.
Despite "tout(ing) these cases as successes in the so-called war against
terrorism....former (FBI) agents, local lawmakers," and many others
"have begun questioning the legitimacy and efficacy" of entrapping
innocent victims for political advantage.
- CHRGJ discussed several high-profile cases, using well-paid
informants often performing services in return for reduced charges or sentences
they face, a powerful incentive to cooperate.
- Nearly always, Washington invents plots foiled in the
nick of time, entrapping innocent victims with no intent to commit crimes.
America's media headline them. The public feels safer with no idea they've
been scammed or that blameless citizens and residents are falsely charged.
- In fact, calling Muslims "potential threats"
or "homegrown terrorists" violates core constitutional freedoms.
Nonetheless, it's now common law enforcement practice assuming that:
- -- Muslims are more likely to become terrorists;
- -- they're increasingly "radicalized" and compelled
to commit violence in the name of Islam; and
- -- counterterrorism policies should identify and stop
them before they act.
- In fact, research contradicts these notions. Moreover,
relying on them violates fundamental human rights long ago discarded for
political and judicial expediency. As a result, Muslims most often face
terrorism charges because "they hate us" or other spurious reasons.
- Muslim men (and "Muslim looking people) are especially
vulnerable. In addition, Muslim culture and religious practices are also
cited as indicators of potential terrorism. As a result, they're maliciously
targeted, surveilled, investigated, entrapped, charged, unjustly prosecuted,
- Notably, a 2007 NYPD report titled, "Radicalization
in the West: The Homegrown Threat" popularized these beliefs, using
"thinly sourced, reductionist" notions, claiming:
- "the path to terrorism has a fixed trajectory and
that each step of the process has specific, identifiable markers,"
despite no corroborating evidence. In fact, research suggests the opposite,
exposing racist, discriminatory beliefs and practices.
- In fact, Washington uses these notions maliciously, targeting
innocent Muslims for their faith and ethnicity. Moreover, in February,
Senator Joe Lieberman called on the National and Homeland Security Councils
to develop "a comprehensive national approach to countering homegrown
radicalization to violent Islamist extremism.
- In March, Rep. Peter King chaired a racist congressional
hearing, duplicitously claiming radicalized Muslims are increasing at an
alarming rate, endangering US security. In fact, the only law enforcement
witness testifying refuted his accusations.
- Most alarming is that Obama's Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), FBI, and Justice Department (DOJ) all embrace racist radicalization
notions to entrap innocent victims with "preventive" policing
nearly always with no evidence of wrongdoing. Instead of pursuing criminals,
they target people for their faith, religious practices, and appearance
unjustly, using well-paid informant snitches.
- Post-9/11, repressive laws were enacted to facilitate
the process, "resulting in the criminalization of a range of behaviors
(not) indicative of....intent to commit...violent crime(s)." At the
same time, law enforcement powers were recklessly expanded in violation
of constitutional rights. As a result, abusive practices proliferated against
Muslims, making it the wrong time for them to be here, even native born
- Using informants to illegally entrap is especially alarming
when no legal limits constrain the targeting of one segment of society.
Because of earlier COINTELPRO and other abuses, Attorney General Edward
Levi (in 1976) established Guidelines "proceed(ing) from the proposition
that Government monitoring of individuals or groups because they hold unpopular
or controversial views is intolerable in our society."
- However, they eroded steadily, notably post-9/11, so
today virtually anything goes extralegally on the pretext of national security.
In 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey's Guidelines were profoundly
lawless, authorizing informants, surveillance, and other abusive practices
in cases involving no suspected criminality.
- For example, FBI agents may direct informants to collect
names, emails, phone numbers, and other information about devout mosque
attendees, based only on their religiosity.
- Specifically, intrusive "assessments" may be
made in situations with no "information or....allegations indicating"
wrongdoing or threat to national security. As a result, groups or meetings
infiltrated covertly, attendees questioned casually, and physical surveillance
of "homes, offices and individuals" conducted extralegally.
- The FBI's Domestic Investigative Operational Guidelines
(DIOGs) are used this way without supervisory approval or constraints on
abusive practices. As a result, virtually anything goes, primarily against
one segment of society, creating a troubling law enforcement standard common
in police states unencumbered by laws.
- Moreover, even though the 2003 DOJ Guidance Regarding
the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies bans profiling by race
and ethnicity, it implicitly permits doing so for faith and national origin
purposes, as well as targeting anyone for national and border security
- The Mukasey Guidelines also permit illegal entrapment
and other abusive practices. As a result, federal, state and local law
enforcement agencies lawlessly target Muslim communities to identify potential
terrorists. In fact, New York city guidelines specifically permit intrusive
investigations of "potential terrorist activity before an unlawful
- Unconstrained informants are used, subject only to Deputy
Commissioner of the Intelligence Division directives. As a result, "NYPD
has become a leading advocate for law enforcement based on the flawed radicalization
model," authorizing illegal acts, including "inducement(s)....to
engage in crim(inal)" activity to facilitate entrapment.
- FBI guidelines also authorize expansive powers, including
targeting individuals or groups for their views or religious practices.
Critics include former FBI counterterrorism agent (now ACLU Senior Policy
Counsel) Mike German, saying "the FBI (is) out of compliance with
its (own) guidelines to an extraordinary extent," by providing few
checks on illegal practices, including entrapment.
- It occurs when law enforcement officials or agents induce,
influence, or provoke crimes that otherwise wouldn't be committed. However,
it doesn't apply in willing lawlessness instances, government merely aiding,
abetting, or facilitating chances to do so.
- Specifically, it involves:
- -- government officials or agents initiating the idea;
- -- persuading individuals to discuss, plan or commit
actions they otherwise never intended.
- To convict, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable
doubt no entrapment was used. In fact, it's common against innocent people,
especially Muslims targeted for political or other reasons.
- CHRGJ concluded that "types of evidence relied upon
by the government in terrorism-related prosecutions are highly prejudicial,
and build on the conflation of Muslim religious practice, political opinions
critical of US foreign policy, and (alleged) terrorism. The prejudicial
nature of relying on such evidence is magnified" by entrapment, claiming
defendants' are predisposed to commit crimes, based on fabricated, secret,
or other evidence to prejudice, pressure, and intimidate juries to convict.
- Based on empirical research, however, no link exists
between religion or political views and a propensity to commit violent
acts. Nonetheless, most convictions result from bogusly conflating them
as proof of "intent or predisposition."
- As a result, victims are usually defenseless against
abusive government practices, including through wrongful conviction civil
rights lawsuits right-wing courts rule against or disallow, especially
in national security related cases involving alleged terrorism or conspiracy
to commit it.
- CHRGJ covered several case examples, including David
Williams, one of "the Newburgh Four (NY)", bogusly charged with
plotting to blow up a Bronx synagogue and shoot down military aircraft
with Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Using an FBI sting, an informant
was lawlessly used to entrap them. Despite no plot or crime, they were
arrested, charged and convicted.
- Another case involved Eljvir, Dristan and Shain Duka,
three of the Fort Dix Five, falsely charged and convicted on multiple counts,
including planning to attack US soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ, despite no plot,
crime or legitimate evidence. Another entrapment sting operation was used.
- A third case involved Shahawar Siraj Matin, also entrapped
by a police informant in an alleged subway bombing plot despite no crime
or intent to commit one.
- Another case involves two Bowling Green, KY Iraqis (Mohanad
Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan) beyond the study's timeline, the
Louisville Courier-Journal saying on May 31 they were indicted on terrorism
- Specifically, they were charged with "conspiring
to kill US soldiers with improvised explosive devices in Iraq," as
well as plans to send Stinger missiles, cash, sniper rifles, and rocket-propelled
grenade launchers to Iraq.
- In fact, the alleged plot is as implausible as attacking
Fort Dix, downing military aircraft, attacking marines at Quantico, VA,
bombing New York landmarks, and other concocted schemes to entrap and convict
- A Final Comment
- CHRGJ said "practices described in the Report raise
serious concerns about the US government's compliance with its international
human rights obligations," including rights to a fair trial, non-discrimination,
freedom of expression, religion, and other rights under US and international
- Federal, state, and local enforcement agencies systematically
violate them to target and convict unjustly, sending innocent victims to
prison for being Muslims in America at the wrong time, leaving everyone
just as vulnerable.
- As a result, it's "proved impossible for" victims
"to gain redress" at a time imperial priorities take precedence.
Its ravages are felt abroad and at home, especially by Muslim families.
- Wives lose husbands, children their fathers, and wrongfully
convicted Muslim men their freedom, some for decades or the rest of their
lives to satisfy America's lust for conquest and domination, no matter
the human cost.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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