December 19th, 2009 16:47 EST
FBI Tactics Sow Anger and Fear Says Muslims
Paul Vitello and Kirk Semple, New York Times
The anxiety and anger have been building all year. In March, a national coalition of Islamic organizations warned that it would cease cooperating with the F.B.I. unless the agency stopped infiltrating mosques and using agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth. "
In September, a cleric in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, sued the government, claiming that the F.B.I. had threatened to scuttle his application for a green card unless he agreed to spy on relatives overseas -- echoing similar claims made in recent court cases in California, Florida and Massachusetts.
And last month, after an imam in Queens was charged with aiding what the authorities called a bomb-making plot, a group of South Asian Muslims there began compiling a database of complaints about their brushes with counterterrorism investigators.
Since the terror attacks of 2001, the F.B.I. and Muslim and Arab-American leaders across the country have worked to build a relationship of trust, sharing information both to fight terrorism and to protect the interests of mosques and communities.
But those relations have reached a low point in recent months, many Muslim leaders say. Several high-profile cases in which informers have infiltrated mosques and helped promote plots, they say, have sown a corrosive fear among their people that F.B.I. informers are everywhere, listening.
There is a sense that law enforcement is viewing our communities not as partners but as objects of suspicion, " said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who represented Muslims at the national prayer service a day after President Obama`s inauguration. A lot of people are really, really alarmed about this. " (More) http://crm.cair.com/site/R?i=N4pcRub0C3NDW5q2XYKooQ..