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Tag: Muslims

FBI Interviews Muslims Following Warning of Possible Terrorism Attack on Eve of Election

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that al-Qaeda may be planning attacks the day before the U.S. election have prompted the FBI to question Muslims in several states, a Muslim community leader told the Dallas Morning News. 

The North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations said it has received repots that FBI agents were questioning Muslims from Kansas, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.

“It was made apparent to us that the FBI has a list of a couple hundred people they are wanting to visit and ask a series of eight generic questions intended to drum up information about the attacks,” Alia Salem, the group’s director, said.

The FBI in Dallas declined to comment.

On Friday, intelligence officials said al-Qaeda may be planning attacks on the eve of the election.

“The FBI and [Department of Homeland Security], working with our federal, state and local counterparts, share and assess intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” the unnamed source told CBS News.

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.

Teachers, Others Oppose FBI’s Online Anti-Extremism Video

Screenshot of the video, "Don't Be a Puppet."

Screenshot of the video, “Don’t Be a Puppet.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI hoped to discourage teenagers from becoming extremists by introducing a video called, “Don’t Be a Puppet.” 

The idea was to counter homegrown extremism by teaching users how to identify young people who are gravitating toward radical ideology.

But now the American Federation of Teachers union and other groups are vocally opposing the video, saying it could lead to more distrust of peaceful Muslims, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

In August, the groups, which include the American Association of School Administrators and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote a letter to FBI director James Comey saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Don’t Be A Puppet campaign and claimed it would increase distrust of Muslim and Middle Eastern students. Critics of the website fear that the recent bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey, and stabbings at a Minnesota mall, will be used to further justify its use with young people.

The website—which walks users through various topics related to extremism and allows them to “free the puppet’ after each section—references religious and environmental extremism, white supremacy, and anarchists. It offers short explanations of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Specifically, the advocacy groups have raised concerns that the computer program can too easily be interpreted as singling out Muslims. Critics have taken issue with several of the potential signs of extremist behavior that the website warns users to report—such as “talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious” and “using code words or unusual language.”

How FBI Foiled Alleged Militia Plot to Bomb Apartment Where Muslims Lived

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI conducted an 8-month investigation into a militant group that culminated in the arrest of three men accused of conspiring to kill countless Muslim immigrants in Kansas.

A confidential source was embedded with the militia group and provided vital information to investigators about the group’s plans, WFTV reports. 

The three men are accused of planning to bomb a southwestern Kansas apartment complex, where numerous Somali immigrants lived, and stockpiling firearms, explosives and ammunitions to carry out the plot.

“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”

Charged were Curtis Allen, 49, Gavin Wright, 49, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, who were members of the Crusaders.

FBI Disagrees with Trump That Muslims Aren’t Reporting Suspicious Activity

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Responding to a question about Islamophobia during Sunday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump said Muslims must “report when they see something going on.”

“Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,” Trump said during the town hall. “And there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very different situation for our country.”

But the FBI disagree that Muslims aren’t reporting suspicious activity, the Washington Post reports. 

“They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim,” FBI Director James Comey said over the summer. “It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks.”

After the Orlando nightclub shooting, for example, an American Muslim reported that he had notified investigators about the suspect because “I wanted to do my part.”

In an essay for The Post, the Muslim American, Mohammed A. Malik, said he wanted to correct false impressions about people who share his faith.

“I am hardly the first American Muslim to report on someone; people who do that simply don’t like to announce themselves in to the media,” Malik wrote. “Trump’s assertions about our community – that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so – are tragic, ugly and wrong.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Demonizing American Muslims Accomplishes Nothing

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Editorial Board
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The bombs planted in New York and New Jersey on Sunday appear to have been the work of a radicalized Muslim man whose behavior and international travel followed familiar patterns.

Some prominent American political figures suggest that the way to deal with people like Ahmad Khan Rahami is to seal up our borders, isolate and profile members of domestic Muslim communities, and impose bans on all people traveling from nations where radicalized Muslims have operated previously.

Such responses appeal to the worst xenophobic tendencies among us, but they won’t solve the terrorism problem. In fact, they are certain to make it worse.

U.S. law enforcers at all levels depend on the cooperation of Muslim communities for intelligence about individuals who pose security threats. Police and FBI investigators cannot be everywhere. The people most attuned to what’s happening in their neighborhoods are the ones who worship at mosques, attend school and interact daily with potentially radicalized individuals.

Many serve as informants, and they do so in secret specifically because their lives could be in jeopardy if their status became known to the individuals under surveillance. Because it’s happening in secret, non-Muslim Americans have little appreciation for the reality.

Hate crimes against Muslims in America have reached their highest levels since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Caller Threatens to Behead Muslims in Disturbing Message

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was an alarming voicemail.

Members of the Masjid Al-Sahaabah mosque in the city of Watauga received a voicemail on July 30 that threatened violence against Muslims, Fox4 reports. 

“I’m a Christian, I’m gonna tell you, I’m your f***ing enemy. I hate you, and I will never be your f**kin’ friend,” he said in the message. “We will cut all your heads off, you understand me? All of you.”

The FBI is now investigating.

Members of the mosque said they regularly receive obscenity-filled phone messages, but this one was the most disturbing.

“I want to be very clear that the Muslim community has no animosity towards the Christian community, but we do ask the Christian community stand up against this kind of hatred,” Alia Salem, Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Fox4. “This does not speak for the vast majority of Christians.”

Homeland Security Director Warns Against Divisive, Political Rhetoric about Muslims

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson warned against political rhetoric that “vilifies Muslims,” saying the federal government depends on relationship of trust form Muslim Americans.

Johnson was speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum and did not mention Donald Trump by name, but said the anti-Muslim rhetoric “is a setback to our homeland security efforts,” the Gazette reports. 

“Overheated rhetoric that fans the flames of fear and prejudice has consequences,” he said.

Democrats have accused Trump of inflammatory rhetoric that is making it more difficult for Muslims to trust federal law enforcement.

“In our world good news is no news and nobody seems to be interested in the good news and the good work of Homeland Security employees every day,” Johnson said.

Other Stories of Interest