NCPCF                                                        Vol. VIII-Issue No. 568
NEWS DIGEST                                   
Friday, January 26, 2018

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” ~Montesquieu
Ashley Young asks for letters for her brother



Upcoming Event Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation FiveA Border Patrol inspection of a Greyhound bus is raising questions about being stopped

Columbus man sentenced to 22 years in terror plot

Trump Administration Must Warn ACLU Before Sending American ISIS Suspect To Another Country, Judge Says

Muslim Americans Sue FBI for Being Put on a Terror Watch List for No Reason

Team Trump Bypassed DHS Analysts to Produce Bogus Terror Report

DHS senior adviser who has worked on travel ban claimed that “true” Muslims can’t peacefully “coexist” or “mingle with other faiths”

A Wake-Up Call for Civil Liberties

Senate passes bill renewing internet surveillance program

Counting Terrorists: The Urgent Need for Comprehensive Data

Finding Your Voice

One year under Trump, Muslim Americans are empowered and engaged


Upcoming Events

Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. Miko Peled on Civil liberties, Islamophobia, & the Holy Land Foundation, Thursday, Feb. 15, 7 – 9 pm, Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW, Washington , DC. Five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation were given very lengthy sentences—for “supporting terrorism” by donating to charities in Palestine that the U.S. government itself and other respected international agencies had long worked with. The five men, now all well over 50 years old, are serving multi-decade sentences in some of the US penal system’s worst longterm prisons. Peled traveled to those prisons to interview the men. Those interviews along with interviews with the lawyers and family members form the basis of his powerful story.


Action Items

Nicholas Young, convicted of obstruction of justice and providing material support to a terrorist organization in the form of $245 worth of Google Play gift cards, is  facing a possible 60 years in prison. He has never been in trouble before, and he is not accused of any violent act. He was a police officer – a 13 year veteran of DC’s Metro Transit Police Department – until the time of his arrest.  Sentencing is on February 23. His sister Ashley Young is asking for letters of support requesting a lenient sentence.  Letters must be received by February 7. Ashley will personally be compiling the support letters which the lawyers will present to the judge. 
Letters should always be signed at the bottom :) 
People can either email or mail  their letters to: 
Ashley Young
71 Oglethorpe St NW
Washington DC 20011

Letters should be written to: 
The Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema
United States District Court
401 Courthouse Square, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314


Salon (1/22): A Border Patrol inspection of a Greyhound bus is raising questions about being stopped [Article & video: 2 min. 20 sec.]
Angus Johnston, a City University of New York professor, says it’s still important that law-abiding U.S. citizens are well aware of their own rights.


News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support
The Columbus Dispatch (1/22): Columbus man sentenced to 22 years in terror plot
A federal judge sentenced a Columbus man to 22 years in prison Monday for training with terrorists in Syria and plotting to kill U.S. military members in Texas. Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 26, of the West Side, pleaded guilty Aug. 14, 2015, to providing material support to terrorists and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, and to lying to the FBI about his travel to Syria. Mohamud apologized to his family and to the United States Monday in U.S. District Court, Downtown. He said he “fell into the trap of radicalization” after traveling to Syria to train with the Al-Nusra Front with his brother, who fought with the group, he said.
Huffington Post (1/23): Trump Administration Must Warn ACLU Before Sending American ISIS Suspect To Another Country, Judge Says
For months, the Trump administration has imprisoned an American citizen without charging him with a crime. The government says the man, whose name has not been released, fought with ISIS in Syria — but officials appear to lack the evidence to bring charges against him in court. In October, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the detainee, arguing that his imprisonment is unlawful. Since then, government officials have floated a clever way to potentially avoid a protracted fight over the legality of the prisoner’s detention: Instead of continuing to imprison the man themselves, they could simply transfer him into the custody of another country, where he could be detained and interrogated out of the reach of American law. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia complicated that plan on Tuesday, ordering the government to provide the court with 72-hour notice before transferring the detainee — creating a scenario in which the ACLU could stall the transfer by challenging its legality in court.

Islamophobia and Civil Rights

Newsweek (1/18): Muslim Americans Sue FBI for Being Put on a Terror Watch List for No Reason
Five American Muslims filed a lawsuit against FBI Director Christopher Wray and other members of the government because they believe they were put on a terrorist watch list without due process. The Terrorist Screening Database, a federal list of terror suspects, is a secret list compiled by the FBI, and it’s impossible for people to verify whether or not they have been included on it. But lawyers from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs, say people who are on the list know they were included because they are frequently harassed by law enforcement officials and consistently have their rights violated.

Daily Beast (1/21): Team Trump Bypassed DHS Analysts to Produce Bogus Terror Report
The Trump administration was clear: ‘An analysis conducted by DHS’ concluded that 73% of terrorists were ‘foreign-born.’ Except DHS analysts had nothing to do with the conclusion. The document didn’t mince words. It claimed three-quarters of “international terrorism” convicts were immigrants, an assertion meant to bolster Donald Trump’s cherished Muslim-focused ban on entering the country. And the report put the claim in the mouths of an agency assembled to keep Americans safe after 9/11: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But the Department of Homeland Security did not perform that analysis. DHS’ analysts did not contribute to the highly controversial report.

Media Matters (1/21): DHS senior adviser who has worked on travel ban claimed that “true” Muslims can’t peacefully “coexist” or “mingle with other faiths”
Right-wing pundit Frank Wuco, a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser who has worked on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, repeatedly warned audiences during his media appearances that Muslims are dangerous because their core faith purportedly instructs them that they can’t “coexist peacefully with other religions.” Wuco has a long history of other anti-Muslims remarks.

Community Action/Building Our Coalition

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Jan/Feb):  A Wake-Up Call for Civil Liberties
The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) held an evening event at the Diyanet Center of America in Lanham, Maryland on Oct. 27.  Sheikh Omar Suleiman, an American Muslim scholar and founder of Faith Forward Dallas, opened his keynote address by saying that when Malcolm X was murdered, his widow Dr. Betty Shabazz said she and her six daughters were treated like lepers by her community. Suleiman called on the Muslim community to demand justice and help the families of prisoners. He urged clergy and activists to take a principled, political stand and not forget about or abandon either the prisoners or their families.  Speaker after speaker called on the audience not to turn their backs on their incarcerated brothers.

Civil Freedoms Under Threat

Reuters (1/18): Senate passes bill renewing internet surveillance program
The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, overcoming objections from civil liberties advocates that it undermined the privacy of Americans. The bill reauthorizes what is known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under Section 702, the NSA is empowered to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications via American companies like Facebook Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google. But the program also incidentally scoops up Americans’ communications, including when they communicate with a foreign target living overseas. Intelligence analysts can then search those messages without a warrant.

Government Policies Under Scrutiny

Lawfare (1/23): Counting Terrorists: The Urgent Need for Comprehensive Data
How many murders have non-Muslim terrorists committed? The fact is, we don’t know, because the federal government does not release comprehensive information on domestic terrorism cases. We know how many cases there are: at least 1,441 federal prosecutions for domestic terrorism over the past 16 years, almost twice as many as those categorized as international terrorism. That averages to more than one case of domestic terrorism every week. But we don’t know the death toll, or other information, because the Justice Department does not publicly identify these cases. Before blaming terrorism on immigrants, the public needs more complete data. The Brennan Center and I are working on getting that information. Last week, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys to start the process of identifying all terrorism prosecutions, including domestic terrorism cases.



The Intercept (1/19): Finding Your Voice
Forget About Siri and Alexa — When It Comes to Voice Identification, the “NSA Reigns Supreme”. Classified documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has developed technology not just to record and transcribe private conversations but to automatically identify the speakers. A decade before voice commands like “Hello Siri” and “OK Google” became common household phrases, the NSA was using speaker recognition to monitor terrorists, politicians, drug lords, spies, and even agency employees. Civil liberties experts are worried that these and other expanding uses of speaker recognition imperil the right to privacy.
The Hill (1/22): One year under Trump, Muslim Americans are empowered and engaged
This past weekend as we marked the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration and the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, Muslim Americans, and many of their counterparts who rallied across the country one year ago, reflected on how far our community has come. We have stepped up our engagement with public officials, expanded and diversified our coalitions, and mobilized our community to act on a range of issues, many of which we ignored in the past. This heightened awareness about the power of individuals to make a difference, and to have a say in the outcomes of major policies that impact millions of Americans, did not happen overnight. But President Trump’s arrival at the White House jolted many into action — a course they thought was optional just a year before.


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