CAIR-CT, NAACP Seek Investigation of Hate Graffiti

October 25, 2013

 

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) and the New London Chapter of the NAACP today called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate hate graffiti scrawled on a New London sidewalk.

CAIR said a local resident discovered the graffiti as she was walking to work early Friday morning. The phrase “Get a job blacks” and a Nazi swastika were spray-painted on the side walk facing a house where an African-American family lives.

Later today, CAIR-CT, NAACP New London, City and faith leaders will hold a press conference to address this disturbing incident.

 

Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12226-cair-ct-naacp-seek-investigation-of-hate-graffiti.html

Father of Chechen man shot by FBI trying to get answers in Florida

The father of a Chechen man shot by an FBI agent in Orlando is in Florida, where he is trying to get answers about his son’s death.

 

Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Florida Council on American Islamic Relations in Tampa, told the Orlando Sentinel his organization planned to meet Tuesday with Abdulbaki Todashev — who traveled to the U.S. from Russia.

 

His son, 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, was killed May 22 while he was being questioned by a Boston-based FBI agent, Massachusetts state troopers, and other law-enforcement officers.

Shibly said CAIR officials and Abdulbaki Todashev planned to discuss what options the family has, including taking legal action against the FBI.

 

“We’re exploring those options right now,” Shibly said.

 

The FBI has released little information about the Orlando shooting or explained publicly what transpired that night.

 

Ibragim Todashev was “primarily” being questioned about a September 2011 triple slaying in Waltham, Mass., but he was also being questioned about his friendship with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Initially, the FBI said Todashev initiated a “violent confrontation” during the questioning at a condo near Universal Studios.

“During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries,” the FBI said shortly after the shooting.

Shibly told the Sentinel that CAIR’s investigation into the shooting turned up very “troubling” information.

He said Todashev’s friends have said they were questioned by the FBI in the days before the fatal shooting, and threats were made suggesting if the friends did not spy on local mosques they would risk having their immigration statuses changed.

Meanwhile, the ACLU said Abdulbaki Todashev has also requested to meet with organization representatives while he is visiting the U.S. The ACLU asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the Ibragim Todashev shooting, but the agency declined late last month, stating it would be inappropriate because it is a federal case.

 

Boston, London, Paris attacks highlight intelligence dilemma as al-Qaida shifts tactics

Intelligence agencies that have succeeded in thwarting many of al-Qaida’s plans for spectacular attacks are struggling to combat the terror network’s strategy of encouraging followers to keep to themselves, use off-the-shelf weapons and strike when they see an opportunity.

In recent weeks — at the Boston Marathon, in the streets of London and in the shadow of one of Paris’ most recognizable monuments — young men allegedly carried out attacks with little help, using inexpensive, widely available knives and explosives from everyday ingredients. In each of the attacks, suspects had previously been flagged to law enforcement and deemed not to be a priority.

There are no indications that the suspects in the recent attacks were responding specifically to al-Qaida calls to act in a vacuum — but their alleged actions closely follow the lone wolf model that the network has been promoting.

A tough debate now rages within the intelligence community — previously focused on searching for al-Qaida cells — on how to assess red flags without violating basic liberties.

 

Giuliani Tackles Racial Profiling On NBC: Can’t ‘Ignore’ Threat From ‘Distorted Islamic Extremist Ideology’

In the wake of the Boston bombing, the issue of homeland security is once again at the forefront.Meet the Press, too, discussed the issue of security as David Gregory invited his panel to discuss the current approach, the specific case of the Boston bombing, and whether profiling the Muslim community would be an effective tactic.

“We have to recognize we are still in a global war against radical Islamic jihadists,” Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asserted. “And the president, by his policies and by the words of senior officials in his administration, are removing us from a war footing and putting us back into a law enforcement model.”

Later in the segment, as Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) grew defensive in response to Cotton, Gregory noted that “signals of radicalization” were missed in the case of the Boston bombing, eventually going on ask: Do “we need to sacrifice privacy in order to be safer? Is that going to be the immediate lesson from the Boston bombings?”

The Boston Bombings Have Nothing to Do With Immigration Reform

A day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the New York Post falsely reported that law enforcement suspected a Saudi national may have been responsible. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa responded with predictable outrage. “If we can’t background-check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background-check the 11 million to 20 million people that are here from who knows where?” he told the National Review. King, a leading opponent of efforts to reform the nation’s immigration laws, was one of several conservatives—including Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and talk show host Laura Ingraham—who are straining to draw a line from the Boston attack to the immigration bill.

Now the question is whether the Gang of Eight senators who authored the bill, and particularly the Republicans in the group, can wrest back the narrative from these doubters. On CNN’s State of the Union show Sunday, South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham argued that the bombings strengthen the case for reform. It’s better to improve the immigration system than to keep it as is, he said, so authorities have a better idea of who is coming and who isn’t. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Arizona Senator John McCain made similar statements this weekend.

Boston Bombing Gives Pause to Immigration Reform

Two Republican lawmakers urged greater scrutiny of U.S. Muslims and the shelving of immigration reform during the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Sunday the FBI should intensify its efforts to ferret out radical Muslim terrorists who may be living in the United States while Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said he favored holding off on immigration legislation until more is learned about the two natives of Chechnya who were accused of planting the deadly bombings.

King and Coats were among the members of Congress who called Sunday for a close look at the potential reasons the Tsarnaev brothers were apparently not under law-enforcement scrutiny despite a lengthy visit Tamerlan Tsarnaev made to Russia and Dagestan in 2011.

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats – Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, “preventive” policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists. The following is the second installment in the ACLU blog series “Radically Wrong,” which highlights counterterrorism policies that are not only ineffective, but also undermine our constitutional rights.

None. Zero. That’s the number of fatalities or injuries from terrorist acts by American Muslims over the last two years, according to a recent report from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. Here are some other numbers from the report worth noting: In the United States in 2012, there were nine “terrorist plots” by American Muslims—only one of which led to violence. Of those nine plots, only 14 suspects were indicted. Separately, six suspects were indicted for support of terrorism.

Terrorism is not a “Muslim” phenomenon. Indeed, last year, the author of the report called terrorism by American Muslims “a minuscule threat to public safety.” Yet far too many policymakers assume the opposite is true, and too many policies are predicated on the false and bigoted assumption that Muslims are more likely to engage in terrorism than other Americans. The numbers above show how false the premise is. So why are we willing to undermine civil liberties, target an entire religious community, and devote countless resources to this “minuscule threat?”

NJ’s attorney general visits mosque as part of outreach after NYPD surveillance flap

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa quietly visited a Newark mosque Friday that had been listed in a secret report by the New York Police Department, and he reassured worshippers that New Jersey officials do not believe certain groups of citizens have lesser rights than others.

Chiesa attended prayer services at Masjid Ibrahim, a modest, single-story mosque set up inside a ramshackle former commercial space in Newark. The mosque was among several in the report by the NYPD, which conducted surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey and elsewhere.

“It is not tolerable here in New Jersey for us to have people treated differently in this state — period,” Chiesa said.

The attorney general’s visit was part of an ongoing effort by his office to repair relations between Muslims and New Jersey law enforcement after The Associated Press uncovered the NYPD spying. The NYPD has said its actions were legal and it has the right to travel to other cities in carrying out its duties.

Chiesa has said that New York police now meet regularly with New Jersey law enforcement to discuss counterterrorism intelligence and operations. He has also issued a directive requiring New Jersey law enforcement agencies to notify the New Jersey State Police Counter-Terrorism Bureau and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness if they hear of outside departments working in New Jersey. Assemblyman Charles Mainor also has introduced legislation that would give such guidelines the weight of law.

Robbers, disguised as Muslim women, hit banks in Philadelphia

A string of bank robberies, carried out by people disguised in traditional Islamic woman’s garb, has prompted concerns among religious, government and law enforcement officials in the Philadelphia area.

The robberies, at least five since December, were carried out by people wearing full-length robes and veils to hide the hair and part of the face, according to some surveillance tapes broadcast by local stations in Philadelphia. Muslim leaders fear use of the disguises could put Muslim women in danger or make them objects of scrutiny.

“We regard this act as discriminatory,” Imam Isa Abdul Matin told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. “It is in actuality a type of hate crime against Muslims.”

The Muslim leaders offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the robbers.

The use of Muslim disguises seems to be contained to the Philadelphia area, according to Muslim groups and law enforcement officials.

In the past, bank security officials in other parts of the country raised concerns about the potential for Muslim head scarves to hide identity, Amina Rubin, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said by telephone from Washington, D.C. They were worried that the scarves might hide faces from security cameras; when shown that the scarves don’t in fact hide faces, they were satisfied, she said.

Documents provide rare insight into FBI’s terrorism stings

There have been 138 terrorism or national security cases involving informants since 2001, and 51 of those have come over the past three years, according to the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School in New York. The center said the government secured convictions in 91 percent of those cases.

Law enforcement officials say stings are a vital tactic for heading off terrorism. But civil rights activists and others say the FBI has been identifying individuals with radical views who, despite brash talk, might have little ability to launch attacks without the government’s help.

One of the prosecutors in the 2010 case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Halperin, said in court that confidential informants such as Hussain are an “important tool” for the FBI. “Mr. Hussain is Pakistani. He speaks Urdu. He speaks Pashto. He’s Muslim. He can read Arabic,” Halperin said. “All of these things make Mr. Hussain a very valuable asset for the FBI.”