Thursday, April 16, 2009

The FBI is Spying on Churches

Mich. Muslim group says FBI asking people to spy

File this under "totally unsurprising..."
An FBI agent testified in February at a detention hearing that an informant infiltrated several mosques in Orange County, Calif., and befriended Ahmadullah Niazi, brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden's bodyguard. Niazi was charged with lying about his ties to terrorist groups on his citizenship and passport applications.
Former FBI agents and federal prosecutors have said spying on mosques is one of the government's best weapons to thwart terrorists, but agents need to have credible and specific information before sending in a plant.
And file this under "what do you mean 'the nature of government is coercive force?'"
...the most common complaints have come from people with pending immigration issues being approached by agents to monitor mosques in exchange for help in resolving their citizenship cases.
I think it's fairly clear that there's an implied threat here--cooperate, or we'll deport you.

I guess spying on Osama bin Laden's step-nephew's hairdresser has its place, if a judge is willing to issue a warrant, but are we really expecting someone to write down something their brother-in-law does as a "connection to terrorism?" Has this guy even ever met his brother-in-law? I'm obviously not familiar with the case, but it wouldn't surprise me if the connection between this guy and terrorism was entirely speculative. An unfounded claim? Not really. Of the 775 detainees ever at Guantanamo, a grand total of three have been convicted of anything, and about 420 have been released without charge (source, source).

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