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NCPCF News Digest - Issue No. 57 –  February 7, 2012

‘Civil Freedoms for All’   

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.   Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this issue

U.S. tricked man convicted of plot to bomb synagogues: lawyers

Another Entrapment Case:

NC woman held without bond on charge of hiring hit man

Iowa Muslim leader: Law enforcement betrayed us

Document shows NYPD sought to spy on Shiites, based on shared religion with Iranian terrorists

US ‘no-fly’ list of suspected terrorists doubles in 12 months

Obama no better than Bush concerning civil liberties 

Noam Chomsky : Anniversaries From “Unhistory”

Poll of the Week 

Do you believe that if you criticize government policies openly you’d become a target for surveillance by law enforcement agencies?

Website of the Week 

Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin

Multimedia 

A. Think Progress (1/31): Stalwart Reagan Conservative Ed Meese Condemns ‘Fringe Group’ Of Anti-Muslim Activists [Video: 6 min.]

B. CNN (2/3): Iowa Muslim leader: Law enforcement betrayed us  [Video: 3 min.]

Useful Reports

University of North Carolina: Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11 (8 pages)

The scale of homegrown Muslim-American terrorism in 2011 does not appear to have corroborated the warnings issued by government officials early in the year. Of the 20 Muslim-Americans accused of violent terrorist plots in 2011, only one was charged with carrying out an attack, firing shots at military buildings in northern Virginia.

Voices of Victims/Faces of Repression

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News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions  

A. Reuters (2/2): U.S. tricked man convicted of plot to bomb synagogues: lawyers

Lawyers defending four men convicted of plotting to bomb New York synagogues asked an appeals court to consider an unusual argument — that the government improperly exploited a love relationship between the main defendant and the case’s informant.

B. The New American (2/2): Government Cites NDAA as Authority to Detain Gitmo Prisoner

C. Associated Press (2/3): NC woman held without bond on charge of hiring hit man to kill witnesses in terror case

Another Informant/Entrapment Case: Nevine Aly Elshiekh, 46-year-old educator, made her first court appearance after being arrested last month after FBI agents tracked her to a meeting with a government informant. The two defendants were taken into custody after a sting operation where prosecutors said the pair paid an FBI informant a total of $5,000. Elshiekh’s lawyer, Charles Swift, said the public should keep an open mind about his client until the full facts are known. She was manipulated by an “evil man,” he said.

D. CNN (2/3): Iowa Muslim leader: Law enforcement betrayed us

“That was really surprising, very sad that somebody would come or the FBI or Homeland Security would send somebody here to pretend to be Muslim and try to find out what goes on here. I feel there is no need for that,” said Dr. Hamed Baig, president of the Islamic Center of Des Moines. Baig is talking about 42 year-old Arvinder Singh. Baid says he saw Singh a couple of times at his mosque, and that Singh would have been welcomed like all newcomers interested in learning about Islam. But it wasn’t until recently that members of the community discovered that Singh, who was raised a Sikh, was allegedly sent into their mosques to spy for the FBI. Singh told CNN that the FBI told him, “‘You look Middle Eastern, and we need your help for the war against terror.'”

E. Reuters (2/6): Cab driver admits giving cash to militant linked to al Qaeda

Raja Khan, 58, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, never posed any imminent domestic danger, authorities said at the time of his arrest in March 2010, gave Kashmiri approximately $200 to $250 in 2008, and directed another person to give Kashmiri the equivalent of $300 in 2009, prosecutors said

F. Minneapolis Star Tribune (2/6): Eden Prairie grad funded terror group in Somalia

The ex-Twin Cities resident admitted working for Al-Shabab.

Community Action/Building Our Coalition  

A. Washington Post (2/1): ACLU sues to force release of drone attack records

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court Wednesday to force the Obama administration to release legal and intelligence records related to the killing of three U.S. citizens in drone attacks in Yemen last year.

B. SiLive.com (2/3): Muslims and their allies seethe over NYPD secret report, demand Kelly’s resignation

A Staten Island interfaith leader is in agreement with a coalition of more than 40 groups calling for the immediate resignation of NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Islamophobia and Civil Rights 

Associated Press (2/2): Document shows NYPD sought to spy on Shiites, based on shared religion with Iranian terrorists

The New York Police Department recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on their religion, as a way to sweep the Northeast for signs of Iranian terrorists, according to interviews and a newly obtained secret police document.

Civil Freedoms Under Threat 

A. The Guardian (2/2): US ‘no-fly’ list of suspected terrorists doubles in 12 months

Classified log of individuals banned from flying into or within America as they are considered a threat stands at 21,000

B. WarIsCrime.com (2/4): Agreeing to Disagree on Much, Occupiers and Tea Party Stand Together Against NDAA

Prisoners Conditions and Abuse

Washington Post (2/6): House kills study to reduce solitary confinement in prisons

The Republican-controlled House of Delegates killed a bill that would have required the state to study ways to limit the use of solitary confinement in state prisons, especially of those who are mentally ill.

Government Policy Under Scrutiny   

A. Lawfare (1/31): Cybersecurity Legislation — Big Issues at the 10,000 Foot Level
B. The Raw Story (2/1): Washington lawmakers introduce bill condemning NDAA
Five Republican lawmakers from Washington state have introduced legislation that condemns the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 for controversial measures regarding the detainment of terrorism suspects.
C. LA Times (2/2): GOP criticizes plan to transfer ‘high-level’ Guantanamo detainees
Lawmakers denounce an Obama administration proposal to send abroad five Guantanamo Bay detainees on a no-transfer list to mollify the Taliban before Afghanistan peace talks.
D. Associated Press (2/2): NYPD Document Exposes More Domestic Surveillance
E. USA Today (2/3): FBI cuts back on GPS surveillance after Supreme Court ruling

Editorials/Opinions

A. Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in the Hill (1/30): Due process, detention and defense

We are especially concerned with Section 1021 of the NDAA which includes unnecessarily ambiguous language regarding our detainment policy. We have spoken with people across the political spectrum, and there is broad bipartisan consensus that the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens is unacceptable and inconsistent with the values most Americans hold dear.

B. Jacob Witte in Iowa State Daily (1/30): Obama no better than Bush concerning civil liberties                 

C. Nat Hentoff in Southern Standard (2/1): Too much government surveillance

As soon as I read Justice Antonin Scalia’s decision, I knew the Supreme Court had committed no such all-encompassing attack on how George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama have turned us into a society constantly under surveillance by the government.

D. Brian Michael Jenkins in Foreign Affairs (2/1): The NDAA Makes it Harder to Fight Terrorism

Military Custody is Counterproductive. 

E. Stephen Said in Truthout (2/2): Oakland, Non-Violence and the Future of Occupy

F. Noam Chomsky in Truthout (2/6): Anniversaries From “Unhistory”

The scope is illustrated by the first Guantanamo case to come to trial under President Obama: that of Omar Khadr, a former child soldier accused of the heinous crime of trying to defend his Afghan village when it was attacked by U.S. forces. Captured at age 15, Khadr was imprisoned for eight years in Bagram and Guantanamo, then brought to a military court in October 2010, where he was given the choice of pleading not guilty and staying in Guantanamo forever, or pleading guilty and serving only 8 more years. Khadr chose the latter. Many other examples illuminate the concept of “terrorist.” One is Nelson Mandela, only removed from the terrorist list in 2008.

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