FBI’s racial profiling of targeted communities in the name of “national security”

ACLU in NY accuses FBI of racial profiling

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press, October 20, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union accused the FBI on Thursday of abusing increased powers it was given after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by collecting and analyzing racial and ethnic demographic information across the country based on widespread stereotypes.

The civil rights group based findings in its report on documents obtained from the FBI through Freedom Of Information Act requests made last year through 34 ACLU affiliates. It said the partially redacted documents put on its website show the FBI crossed the line in its assessment of Arab Americans in Michigan, blacks in Georgia, Chinese and Russian-Americans in California and large groups of Hispanic communities in Michigan.

“The FBI’s own documents confirm our worst fears about how it is using its overly expansive surveillance and racial profiling authority,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The FBI has targeted minority American communities around the country for investigation based not on suspicion of actual wrongdoing but on the crudest stereotypes about which groups commit different types of crimes.” Continue reading

Mosques, students and NGOs: Journalist blows the lid off police spying on NYC Muslims

September 8, 2011

Two weeks after an Associated Press investigation exposed the New York Police Department (NYPD)’s  ”demographic units” used to spy on a wide array of Muslim New Yorkers, a journalist has published startling new details that reveal the breadth of that operation.  The details are sure to raise new alarms in the Muslim-American community in New York City (NYC) as the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approach.

Leonard Levitt, a long-time writer on the NYPD beat, reports:

The New York City Police Department has been spying on hundreds of Muslim mosques, schools, businesses, student groups, non-governmental organizations and individuals, NYPD Confidential has learned.

The spying operation has targeted virtually every level of Muslim life in New York City, according to a trove of pages of Intelligence Division documents obtained by NYPD Confidential.

The documents do not specify whether the police have evidence or solid suspicions of criminality to justify their watching the Muslim groups.

The breadth and scope of the surveillance described in the documents suggest that the police have been painting with a broad brush and may have targeted subjects without specific tips about wrongdoing.

Specifically, Levitt reveals exactly who the NYPD spied on:

The NYPD’s spying operation has compiled information on 250 mosques, 12 Islamic schools, 31 Muslim student associations, 263 places it calls “ethnic hotspots,” such as businesses and restaurants, as well as 138 “persons of interest,” according to the Intel documents.

Police have singled out 53 mosques, four Islamic schools and seven Muslim student associations as institutions of “concern.” They have also labeled 42 individuals as top tier “persons of interest.”

At least 32 mosques have been infiltrated by either undercover officers, informants, or both, according to documents, which are dated between 2003 and 2006 and marked “secret.”

The NYPD has also been monitoring Muslim student associations at seven local colleges: City, Baruch, Hunter, Queens, LaGuardia, St. John’s and Brooklyn.

The department calls the two student groups at Brooklyn and Baruch colleges “of concern” and has sent undercover detectives to spy on them, the documents reveal. Continue reading

Federal Bureau of Instigation

August 30, 2011

Entrapment as Government Policy–The FBI Goes Rogue
by LAWRENCE DAVIDSON

Here is an important question: What single organization is responsible for more terror plots in the USA than any other? Possible answers: Al Qaida. That would no doubt be the popular answer but it would be wrong. The KKK. Way past their prime, so that is not it. The Jewish Defense League. Good guess, but still not it. So what is the correct answer? It is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, AKA the FBI. Don’t believe me? Well, just read Trevor Aaronson’s expose entitled “The Informants” published in the September/October 2011 issue of Mother Jones.

Aaronson looked at over 500 terrorism related cases taken up by the FBI and found that over half of them involved the Bureau’s stable of 15,000 informants. Many of these are ex-felons and con men who are often paid well if their efforts result in an arrest and conviction. So what, you might say. Using informants to obtain information about criminal activity is an old and legitimate tactic. Yes, however, that approach to information gathering is not exactly how the FBI uses all of its informants. Indeed, the Bureau has a program, misnamed “prevention” which encourages its agents to get creative in the use of informants. How creative? Well, if they can’t find any terrorist activity going on, they have their informants instigate some. Where are they doing this? Mainly in our country’s Muslim communities. Continue reading

NAPO/MXGM statement on the passing of our Comrade Geronimo ji Jaga

Jun 11, 2011

The New Afrikan Peoples Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement salute the life of our brother and comrade Geronimo ji Jaga. The life of Geronimo, or “G” as he was affectionately known, represents a freedom fighter that sacrificed and loved Afrikan people and humanity.

Geronimo was given the name Elmer Gerard Pratt at birth on September 13, 1947, in Morgan City, Louisiana. He was born into a loving family that would nurture him and provide support throughout his life. He grew up in a community where he and other youth had to fight white supremacists from the “other side of the tracks.”

Geronimo said he was encouraged to go into the US military by his community Elders, who had roots in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Deacons for Defense. His objective was to learn military skills to be utilized for the defense of our community and our people. “G” was a decorated soldier in the wrong army, earning two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He distinguished himself as a Sergeant and Ranger in the 82nd Airborne of the US Army.

His Elders would redeploy him, after returning from two Vietnam combat tours, to the greater Los Angeles area. There he would work with Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, the principal organizer of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Carter and Geronimo both became students at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). They participated in the Black student movement and the formation of the Black Studies department at UCLA. Geronimo rose to leadership of the Southern California Chapter and National BPP after Carter and John Huggins were murdered in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) COINTELPRO inspired internecine conflict between the US Organization and Panthers on the UCLA campus, in September 1969. He quickly became a primary target to be eliminated by the FBI and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) due to his organizing ability, military skills, and the popularity of his comrades. Continue reading

Alert: FBI has reasons to track you, and they are not “terror” or “crime”

On July 2nd,  NBC Nightly News aired a new piece on the issue of the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices by law enforcement featuring Yasir Afifi:

Here is the extended interview with Yasir Afifi:

And here is an extremely relevant background report on government spying, released in December 2010 by the Washington Post:Finger Print

Monitoring America

Monday, December 20, 2010; 1:40 AM

Correction to this article: An earlier version of this article contained several incorrect numbers that have since been updated. The errors occurred because of the accidental duplication of 74 records in a database of over 4,000 counterterrorism organizations that The Post assembled. While not affecting the overall conclusions of the article, the 74 duplications mean that there are 3,984 federal, state and local organizations working on domestic counterterrorism, not 4,058. Of the total, the number created since the 2001 attacks is 934, not 935.

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States. Continue reading

Detained Without Cause

Detained Without Cause: Muslims’ Stories of Detention and Deportation in America after 9/11

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Alwan Center of the Arts, Interfaith Center of New York, Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance (MPTA) and the National Lawyers Guild NY Chapter

After 9/11 the Bush administration began abusing the Material Witness law by detaining American citizens — on American soil — without probable cause. While the Material Witness Law does allow for the government to detain witnesses to a crime if it believes those witnesses to be a flight risk, civil rights groups and the people whose lives have been ruined by these random arrests protest that the government is abusing the law to detain everyday Americans that it suspects may in some way be linked to terrorism.On Wednesday June 22nd, a group of panelists, including, Irum Shiekh, the author of the new Book Detained without Cause, gave an oral history featuring the voices of deported truck drivers, students, newspaper vendors, building contractors and their families who were swept up in post 9/11 raids. Many of these people were kept for many months in abusive isolation in Brooklyn’s MDC. We also heard from Martin Stolar and Sandra Nicholas, both NYC attorneys who have worked extensively with many post 9/11 detainees, including some in Irum’s book.Website: http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/758

Carlos Montes, a voice for change – the 60s, the civil rights movement and today

[Carlos Montes, a prominent leader of Chicano people in Los Angeles for nearly 5 decades, is the latest target of FBI raids aimed at international solidarity activists.  June 16, the same day as the court hearing in his case in Los Angeles, the Committee to Stop FBI repression is leading demonstrations nationwide to protest this repression and to pledge further deepening and broadening of the international solidarity movements.  See stopfbi.net for more information. — Frontlines ed.]

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http://www.alhambrasource.org/stories/voice-change-60s-civil-rights-movement-and-today

by Tim Loc, Staff, Alhambra Source, June 16, 2011

Carlos Montes | Photo from http://www.stopfbi.net

Activist Carlos Montes, a familiar face in the 1960s Chicano Movement, moved to Alhambra 20 years ago because he saw it as a peaceful enclave that was close to his homebase of East Los Angeles. He had a rude awakening on May 17 when the FBI and deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department executed a search warrant on his home. He was arrested after the search turned up a firearm. Montes speaks to The Alhambra Source on his history with activism, and what he alleges is the FBI’s agenda of targeting activists like him.

You were a co-founder of the Brown Berets. How did it begin?

It started as a civic youth group. It became the Young Chicanos for Community Action, and then it got more involved in direct grassroots organizing. Then it became the Brown Berets, and we dealt with the issues of education and police brutality. It started small, but once it took on a broader view of the political situation it grew really fast. It became part of the movement of the 60s. I grew up in East LA, so I saw the police mistreating the youth. We’d cruise down Whittier Boulevard with the music on in the car and we would be harassed by the sheriffs. And in the schools the students were mistreated and the classes were overcrowded. Continue reading

FBI and NYPD: Luring the migrant into a fake “terror plot” — then jailing him for decades

Report Documents Fake Terror Threats Concocted by FBI and NYPD

Color Lines, Monday, May 23 2011

Shahawar Matin Siraj immigrated to Queens, N.Y., from Pakistan with his family when he was 16. Siraj began working at his uncle’s Islamic bookshop in Queens where, soon after 9/11, an undercover police officer began coming around and engaging Siraj in conversations about politics and religion. Whatever Siraj said to the officer in those conversations, it was enough for NYPD to soon assign another undercover officer to befriend the young man as well.

That second officer showed Siraj images of victims of American wars in the Middle East and of Guantanamo Bay, and began making up stories about secret terrorist organizations inside the U.S. Over the next year, the undercover agent prodded Siraj to devise a plan to detonate a bomb in New York City, as a means of responding to the U.S. government’s violence. Siraj first agreed but eventually refused to actively participate in the plot, saying, “No, I don’t want to do it.” But after more repeated prodding of the young man, Siraj finally agreed to act as a lookout for others.

A week later, Siraj was called by the NYPD to a police station to deal with an outstanding misdemeanor charge. Upon arrival, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The next day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested and detained Siraj’s mother, sister and father. His mother and sister spent 11 days and his father six months in a New Jersey detention center. Continue reading

Shahawar Matin Siraj, Newburgh 4 and the Fort Dix 5: All Lured Into Terror Plot By Overzealous FBI Informants, New Report Claims

[It should be called the Department of Frame-up, Break-in, Infiltration (FBI), with special units for Profiling, Provocation and Entrapment.  This article spells out the current tactics of the guardians of injustice assigned to Deliberate Harassment and Setup (DHS). — Frontlines ed.]

By Graham Rayman, the Village Voice
Wed., May 18 2011

Thumbnail image for colorcodedterrorL.jpgA new report out of the NYU Law School slams the feds and the NYPD for conduct in three recent terrorism cases, saying that the government should end the practice of sending “paid informants into Muslim communities or families without any particularized suspicion of criminal activity.”

The report, called “Targeted and Entrapped,” was compiled by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the International Human Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law.

In the case of the Newburgh 4, as the Voice has reported, the paid FBI informant, Shahed Hussain, spent months trolling for someone interested in terror, and finally found ex-con, pot smoker and video game player James Cromitie who haltingly over 8 months went along with a plot that was largely devised and pushed forward by the government. Cromitie and three other men were convicted last fall, and face up to life in prison. Continue reading

Spies in blue

[Police misconduct has long been a focus of activists–of those subjected to false arrests and false imprisonments, of targets of racial profiling, and of those facing attacks on and police suppression of political advocacy, of opposition to the systemic oppression of targeted communities, of class struggles, international solidarity movements, and revolutionary movements.

The history of such misconduct runs throughout US history—from the suppression of slave resistance and the abolition movements, of the insurgent working class and trade union movements, the resistance of Native American, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian and other occupied and colonized people, the McCarthy “Red Scares”, and the attacks on the civil rights and Black Liberation movements. 

Major political challenges to systemic police misconduct have been organized at various times.  The Black Panther Party’s campaigns for community control of police, organizing to make local police conduct transparent and accountable and prosecutable, was a major advance in re-setting even the concept of community control.  And, after the FBI’s COINTELPRO  program was exposed—a nationwide program to confuse, provoke, entrap, imprison and eliminate political opposition—activists unearthed many of the hidden local instruments of this FBI terror program, and in some places forced new policies on local and state levels against the abusive police.  

But even where such fights have been won, police misconduct has continued to be common.  FBI (and other repressive instruments)—now systematized under the banner of Department of Homeland Security—has worked to circumvent restraints on official abuse, whether by illegal surveillance and wiretapping, racial profiling, or ICE raids and mass deportations, to mention but a few.

The following article from the San Francisco Bay Guardian details the FBI’s enabling of police abuses, and their circumventing of restraints on San Francisco Police Department’s abuses. – Frontlines ed.]

Spies in blue

A secret memo indicates that SF cops may be working as FBI spies — with no local oversight

April 26, 2011

Sarah Phelan, SF Bay Guardian

sarah@sfbg.com

San Francisco cops assigned to the FBI’s terrorism task force can ignore local police orders and California privacy laws to spy on people without any evidence of a crime.

That’s what a recently released memo appears to say — and it has sent shockwaves through the civil liberties community. Continue reading

“Epitaph for J. Edgar Hoover” by lincoln bergman

at a reading sponsored by the revolutionary poets brigade of san francisco, lincoln bergman, with indelible memories of the horrifying trail left by J. Edgar Hoover, presented his poem, “Epitaph for J. Edgar Hoover”.

the event, on november 7, 2010, was recorded by collision course media for its series, “the word is revolution”

for more information about lincoln bergman, and to see his poetry, visit lincolnbergman.com/​Lincoln_Bergman/​Lincoln_Bergman_Website.htmlVimeo

January 25: Join the National Day of Action against FBI/Grand Jury repression of Solidarity Movement

Join the National Day of Action:
January 25, 2011 — from 4:30 to 6 p.m.


Protest FBI and Grand Jury Repression!

US Federal Building
90 – 7th Street

San Francisco


On September 24, the FBI raided seven Chicago and Minneapolis homes of anti-war and international solidarity activists, and 14 activists were subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury. All 14 refused to participate.

In December, nine more Palestine solidarity and anti-war activists were subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011.


Fight U.S. Government Criminalization of Anti-War Activism!

JOIN organizations and individuals around the country to Protest in San Francisco on January 25.

Bay Area Committee to Stop Political Repression

stop.political.repression@gmail.com

www.stopfbi.net

Endorsers (partial):

Asian Law Caucus, Arab Resource & Organizing Center, National Lawyers Guild SF, Council on American-Islamic Relations SFBA, Arab American Union Members Council, USPCN, American Friends Service Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Palestine Youth Network, ANSWER Coalition, San Francisco Labor Council, Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice, American Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International Solidarity Movement, United National Anti-War Committee, Arab American Cultural Center of Silicon Valley

National Day of Action against FBI subpoenas on Tuesday, January 25, 2011‏

[As the US government faces deepening global opposition to its wars of aggression and neo-colonial occupations, it aims its domestic fire at the activists who organize anti-imperialist solidarity with the people’s liberation movements around the world.  Seeking to crush this solidarity, the only way to defeat such repression is to defend those attacked, and intensify the commitment and work for broader, active solidarity.  We urge all to join the actions against FBI subpoenas on January 25!–Frontlines ed.]

1/08/11
Join the National Day of Action on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In December 2010, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Patrick
Fitzgerald, the FBI delivered 9 new subpoenas in Chicago to anti-war
and Palestine solidarity activists - bringing the total number of
subpoenaed activists to 23. Patrick Fitzgerald’s office is ordering
the 9 to appear at a Grand Jury in Chicago on January 25.

In response, we are calling for protests across the country and around
the world to show our solidarity. Hundreds of organizations and
thousands of people will be protesting at Federal Buildings, FBI
offices, and other appropriate places, showing solidarity with the 9
newly subpoenaed activists and with all the activists whose homes were
raided by the FBI. Continue reading 

South Dakota: The Trial of Land Defender, John Graham

hn Graham; Leonard Peltier expressed doubt he could receive fair trial

portrait of John Graham; Leonard Peltier expressed doubt he could receive fair trial

Tuesday, January 04 2011

On December 10 a South Dakota jury found John Graham guilty of felony murder in the death of American Indian Movement (AIM) member Anna Mae Aquash. John Graham, a Tuchone native originally from the Yukon, continues to maintain his innocence. Aquash was murdered in the 1970s in an execution-style killing in South Dakota. Graham has said that she was his friend and comrade.

In 2004, Arlo Looking Cloud was convicted of murder for aiding in the murder of Aquash. He received a life sentence with a chance of parole in 2013. Earlier this year, Richard Marshall was acquitted on the charge of supplying the gun that killed Aquash. Looking Cloud testified against both Marshall and Graham at trial. Thelma Rios plead guilty in November of this year [2010] to charges of aiding and abetting, for which she received five years of probation and no jail time.

At trial, the state alleged that John Graham took Aquash from Denver against her will and ultimately killed her in the hills of South Dakota. The government claimed the motive for the murder was that AIM believed Aquash to be an informant who had knowledge of sensitive information.

The jury acquitted Graham of premeditated murder: the first-degree charge. Nevertheless, the lesser charge of second degree felony murder* carries a sentence of life in prison.

Aquash was a Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia and was well-known as a skilled organizer and warrior with AIM. In 1975, she said she had been targeted and threatened with death by the FBI. Her body was found on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in February 1976. The original autopsy report, made by an FBI-contracted coroner, stated her cause of death as “exposure” and made no record of the bloody bullet-wound in the back of her head. The FBI removed her hands for purposes of identification in Washington as they claimed the body was unidentifiable. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) buried Aquash as a Jane Doe. Continue reading

“Standing together against US government witch hunt” (Editorial, The Electronic Intifada)

Protesters in Chicago call for an end to a government witch hunt of anti-war and solidarity activists, 6 December. (Maureen Clare Murphy)

22 December 2010


As The Electronic Intifada reported in November, international solidarity and anti-war activists are facing a new wave of repression in the United States.

Since 24 September, two dozen activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and other cities across the country have been handed subpoenas by the FBI to appear before a grand jury.

Yesterday, Maureen Clare Murphy, an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group in Chicago, and managing editor of The Electronic Intifada, became one of the latest to be subpoenaed by the federal government.

In a press release issued by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Murphy stated, “Along with several others, I am being summoned to appear before the Grand Jury on Tuesday, January 25th, in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. We are being targeted for the work we do to end US funding of the Israeli occupation, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the occupation of Iraq. What is at stake for all of us is our right to dissent and organize to change harmful US foreign policy” (“FBI delivers subpoenas to four more anti-war, solidarity activists,” 21 December 2010).

So far, all those who have previously been summoned have refused to appear before the grand jury. No one has been arrested or charged with any crime, nor has the government specified any alleged crimes that it might be investigating. Continue reading