Blogs

  • Irfan Khan – 319 days in solitary confinement, then released due to lack of evidence

    Blogs July 11, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: MLFA. Irfan Khan immigrated to the U.S. to pursue a life of freedom and prosperity — the American Dream. He worked hard as a taxi driver, service technician and limousine company manager and eventually became a proud naturalized American citizen. In may of 2011, Irfan was charged with providing material support for terrorism. Irfan spent the next 319 days in solitary confinement before prosecutors and a federal judge dropped all charges against him. It turns out, the FBI had no evidence to support their claims. The only reason for his detention was that Irfan was a Muslim from Pakistan. Muslim Legal Fund of America is funding Irfan Khan’s lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and Department of Bureau of Prison for false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

     
  • Got to be thwarting something: FBI claims it stopped unspecified mayhem, possibly on July 4

    Blogs July 9, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: FAIR. Last week, in the wake of another vague terror warning issued by the government, FAIR reported how FBI terror warnings have a long history of always being wrong. So it was curious, to say the least, when on Thursday the FBI asserted to CNN’s Jim Sciutto that “a number” of “ISIS-inspired” terror plots had been “thwarted” from “coast to coast” over the Fourth of July weekend. So the arrests were of people without “elaborate plans” who are “unreliable in terms of when they’re going to act.” It’s not even clear that they were intending to act, since it’s “hard to figure out when they’re trying to kill somebody.” But not hard to get the media to report as fact that these plan-less, unreliably scheduled suspects who may or may not have been trying to kill anybody had “ISIS terrorist plots linked to the Fourth of July holiday.”

     
  • On flags, fireworks, hot dogs, and torture

    Blogs July 7, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Vice. Last week, as millions of Americans prepared to celebrate freedom, independence, and other lofty values on July 4, two men were quietly released from a prison in Afghanistan after spending more than a decade without charge or due process in US custody. Oh, and they were brutally tortured. For those men and their loved ones, it is an injustice that ended only recently with their release. And contrary to popular perception and political rhetoric, what happened to those men can happen again to others. Indeed, with the authority that has been so carefully carved out for the CIA and other components of the national security state, it could already be happening in the shadows.

     
  • Senate measure would expand FBI’s power to target internet thought crimes under guise of fighting terrorism.

    Blogs July 6, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Firedoglake. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved a measure in the 2016 intelligence authorization bill, which would require social media websites and email services to flag “terrorist activity” for the FBI and other law enforcement and security agencies. The expansion of power, which would increase the government’s power to undermine freedom of expression, is supposedly not supported by “industry officials” from companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Government officials may claim it is necessary for the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. However, what the measure would do is increase the capability of the United States security state to engage in preemptive prosecution—to target and prosecute individuals or organizations who have beliefs, ideology, or a religious affiliations which make them a person of interest for the government.

     
  • In Boston, media again trash a polices shooting victim by uncritically “reporting” police accusations

    Blogs June 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. In the Boston area yesterday, the FBI and Boston Police Department (BPD) shot and killed a 26-year-old black Muslim man, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, after they stopped him at a bus stop at 7:00 a.m. in front of a CVS drug store in order to question him. Media reports originally claimed that Rahim wielded a “machete” after he was approached by the agents. But after photos emerged showing how laughable that description was, the weapon was changed in subsequent reports to a “military-style black knife” — not just any knife, but a black one. Whatever the truth about the shooting itself turns out to be, think about what happened here. A black Muslim man charged with no crime was standing at a bus stop when approached by the FBI and BPD, who had no warrant to arrest him. Within minutes, he was dead. And literally within hours, he was universally vilified in the American media — with zero evidence — as an ISIS-inspired terrorist in the midst of a plot potentially involving multiple unnamed “others,” all based on nothing more than police accusations.

     
  • 40 reasons why our jails are full of black brown and poor people

    Blogs, Profiling June 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports 2.2 million people are in our nation’s jails and prisons and another 4.5 million people are on probation or parole in the U.S., totaling 6.8 million people, one of every 35 adults. We are far and away the world leader in putting our own people in jail. Most of the people inside are poor and Black. Here are 40 reasons why.

     
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and America’s ineluctable machinery of death

    Blogs June 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Beacon Broadside. According to the Sixth Amendment, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, was entitled to a public trial at which he would be judged “by an impartial jury of the State and district” drawn from the community where the crime occurred. Yet while well more than half the people from the Boston community opposed the imposition of the death penalty, Tsarnaev was nevertheless sentenced to death. How did that happen? In a death penalty case, unlike nearly all other cases, potential jurors are questioned individually, outside the presence of any other members of the panel, by the prosecutor, the defense lawyer, even the judge, about his or her views toward the death penalty. The objective of this process, known as death-qualification, is to learn precisely where on a moral spectrum a potential juror’s attitudes lie.

     
  • Preemptive prosecution: Iraqi American arrested by FBI for allegedly lying about ‘pledging allegiance’ to ISIS leader

    Blogs May 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Firedoglake. An Iraqi-born US citizen in Mesquite, Texas, was arrested by the FBI for allegedly lying to agents about whether he had pledged allegiance to the “self-proclaimed” leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A federal judge ruled a day later that he is a “danger to the community” and must remain in jail. Yet, as in most FBI cases involving alleged terrorism suspects, this again seems like a preemptive prosecution, where an individual has been targeted because of his beliefs, ideology or religious affiliations that raise concerns for the government. There is absolutely no evidence presented in a filed criminal complaint to suggest that Bilal Abood was plotting a terrorist attack.

     
  • Avoiding the sting: U.S. organization proposes different approach to “radicalization”

    Blogs May 1, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Last March, John T. Booker, a 20-year-old from Kansas, checked himself into a mental health facility for evaluation. Now, a year later, he faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison, charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction — the fake bomb that he was provided by undercover FBI informants. In the United States today, individuals who make statements that could be construed as advocating violent extremism — even those who have mental health issues — often become the targets of law enforcement officials whose priority is putting people in prison, not helping them change course. It’s a pattern that has been repeated hundreds of times over the past decade: the FBI “foils” a terror plot, except the would-be terrorist’s only conspiracy is with government informants. The “Safe Spaces Initiative,” launched by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, came into being after a series of cases perceived as government entrapment of troubled youth in the Muslim-American community.

     
  • FBI uncovers another of its own plots, Senator Feinstein responds by saying we should censor the internet

    Blogs April 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Techdirt. As you may have heard, yesterday the FBI “uncovered” yet another of its own terrorist plots, the latest in a very long line of “terrorist plots” the FBI has “uncovered” — in which the details always show that it was an undercover FBI “informant” (often doing this to get off leniently for some other issue), who more or less goads hapless, naive people, into a “plot” that had no real chance of ever happening. This appears to be the same sort of thing. Still, politicians never leave an opportunity like this unexploited, and so in jumps Senator Dianne Feinstein, arguing that the only proper way to deal with this is to, of course… censor the internet.