NCPCF                                                         Vol. VII-Issue No. 556

NEWS DIGEST                                    Friday, October 27, 2017


“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” ~Montesquieu
Sh. Omar Suleiman to Speak Tonight
 
 

IN THIS ISSUE
 

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Upcoming Events

Wake-Up Call for Civil Liberties, Prisons, Profiling and Preemptive Prosecution, Friday, October 27, 7 PM to 9 PM, Diyanet Center of American, Cultural Center Auditorium, 9610 Good Luck Rd., Lanham, MD. As part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the infringements on the civil liberties of Americans, particularly those who are Muslim,   NCPCF is inviting the public to an informative session featuring keynote speaker, Sh. Omar Suleiman, and moderated by Dr. Jonathan Brown of Georgetown University. Two family members of unjustly incarcerated political prisoners will also speak, Mariam Abu Ali and Ikraan Abdurahman.

Multimedia

CTV (10/20): Why is Dearborn, Michigan, on a federal terrorist watch list? [Video: 5 min. 24 sec.]
 

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News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support

A federal judge has given the maximum available 15-year prison sentence to a suburban Chicago man convicted of seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria, telling him he made the choice “to become a villain” by joining terrorists. Lawyers for Abdella Ahmad Tounisi argued Thursday at his sentencing in Chicago that the 23-year-old was motivated foremost, not by extremist ideology, but to help Syrians by fighting Bashar Assad’s repressive regime. They asked for a seven-year sentence. Tounisi was 18 when agents arrested him.

Miami Herald (10/21): Miami man inspired by ISIS arrested on charge of trying to blow up a bomb at Dolphin Mall
A Miami man suspected of being inspired by Islamic extremists was arrested Friday night on a charge of attempting to blow up a bomb at the Dolphin Mall by FBI counter-terrorism agents in an undercover operation. Solano, who acted alone, was communicating with a confidential informant who tipped off the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force about his alleged plot to carry out a weapons of mass destruction attack on the sprawling mall in Sweetwater, according to authorities. When he was arrested, Solano planned to detonate the WMD, which was a sham bomb that he acquired from FBI undercover agents. The FBI’s undercover operations have become textbook procedures in the post-9/11 era. Agents rely on confidential informants to bring them suspicious information, so they can engage a suspect plotting to use a WMD and thwart the plan before it happens. Informants routinely work with undercover agents while recording conversations with the suspect.

Palm Beach Post (10/21): Indictment of FBI informant complicates West Palm terrorism case
No one familiar with how federal law enforcement officials flush out alleged terrorist plots is surprised that a confidential informant was involved in last year’s arrest of the three men — Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Christian and Darren Arness Jackson — who are accused of supporting the Islamic State. But that the informant was indicted? “That’s a little unusual to say the least,” said Miami defense attorney Albert Levin. That the government is invoking the classified procedures act is also unusual, Levin said. He said he suspects Abgareia, who has been convicted of charges in the United States and Canada for defrauding dozens of Muslim groups, worked for the FBI for years and the agency is worried about the impact his arrest could have on other cases.

Community Action/Building Our Coalition
 

CBS Baltimore (10/23): Civil Rights Groups Ask Charges To Be Dropped Against Pregnant, Muslim MICA Teacher Removed From SW Flight
Thirty-one civil rights groups have signed and released a coalition letter Monday morning asking that all criminal charges to be dropped against  Anila Daulatzai who was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight last month. The civil rights groups also ask that new protocols and racism training be implemented regarding the deescalation and mediation of incidents similar to Daulatzai’s.
 

Civil Freedoms Under Threat

 
Reuters (10/24): Senate diverges over renewal of internet spying law
A Senate panel on Tuesday approved legislation to renew the National Security Agency’s internet surveillance program, while other lawmakers pushed a competing measure seeking to end the ability to search for data on Americans without a warrant. The competing plans were likely to complicate congressional renewal of that law, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, due to expire at the end of the year. The Trump administration supports a permanent renewal of the program without any changes.
 

Government Policies Under Scrutiny

The Hill (10/18): ACLU wants FBI records on activists labeled ‘black identity extremists

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pushing for the FBI to release documents on the surveillance of black individuals reportedly labeled by the agency as “extremists.” The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Wednesday alongside the Center for Media Justice to obtain the documents, questioning the constitutionality of a leaked report. The groups pointed to an FBI “Intelligence Assessment” document leaked to Foreign Policy in August titled “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers.” The document has been criticized as racist and caused alarm among advocacy groups. The ACLU charges that the report might not be constitutional on the grounds that the government is barred “from targeting people because of their racial identity or because they take part in First Amendment-protected activities, which include protesting racism and injustice.”

Editorials/Opinions

 
The Nation (10/23): Airlines Are Policing the Bodies and Behavior of Women-of-Color Passengers
The airline sector has a jumbo-jet-sized blind spot when it comes to its treatment of passengers of color, especially women of color. It is time for airlines to drastically change their trainings to extend well beyond stale customer service protocols and rote workshops on cultural sensitivity in order to directly confront anti-blackness, systemic racism, Islamophobia, and misogyny among staff and within companies themselves. It is time for airport law enforcement to put in place the safeguards demanded of police departments to address and prevent police brutality. It is time for the airline industry as a whole including Airlines for America (which American and Southwest Airlines belong to) to set clearer standards for customer service such as the use of de-escalation strategies and a prohibition on law-enforcement collaboration.

The Washington Post (10/24): Refugees score a win, further proof the travel ban is bunk
By abandoning the ban and adding apparently small minor fixes after months of hullabaloo, the administration’s move certainly adds to the suspicion that its entire travel ban scheme, including its multiple iterations of the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, was designed purely for domestic consumption by Trump’s xenophobic base. If the administration could review and come up with new vetting requirements for refugees, certainly the same be done for immigrants from countries listed in the latest travel ban.
 

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