A recent "Know Your Rights" presentation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) New York chapter set a new standard of fomenting fear and distrust among Muslim Americans toward law enforcement.
Not only is the FBI out to get Muslims — and its agents are willing to lie and break the law to do it — an attorney and CAIR-New York board member told the audience, but so is the Israeli Mossad.
"It was discovered or published that a lot of the interviews that Muslims believed they were going into with the FBI, it turns out it wasn't with the FBI at all," Lamis Deek said in her presentation. "Guess who it was? Mossad, Israeli intelligence in New York and New Jersey."
did surface last fall about approaches to Muslim community leaders by possible Mossad operatives claiming to be in U.S. intelligence. The report indicates the agents sought cooperation and information, which the community leaders turned down and then reported the approaches to the FBI.
In her remarks, Deek indicated the reports, based on anonymous sources, are proof that an Israeli conspiracy is playing out in America.
Deek spoke April 16 at the LaGuardia Airport Marriott as part of a CAIR leadership conference and chapter banquet. In addition to her work with CAIR, Deek actively supports a group trying to break the blockade on supplies to the Hamas government in Gaza. In that role, she has called Zionism "a racist and criminal ideology" and advocated a Palestinian state over land where Israel exists.
If an agent tries to arrest someone or search their property, "ask to see the warrant," Deek advised later in the program, "because if the Mossad can go around pretending to be FBI, they can go around pretending to have search warrants."
Even if they aren't secret Israelis, Muslims should never talk to FBI agents who might approach them, she said. "And if they come to your home," she advised, "sneak out."
That's because law enforcement officials will threaten, lie and even break the law to set up Muslims, she said.
"They will do anything, anything within their power and oftentimes beyond their power to get you to talk," Deek said.
CAIR officials insist they support the FBI and have been helpful in investigations. The "Know Your Rights" seminars merely seek to reinforce every American's right to "constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement." That was their argument in January, after the group's San Francisco chapter posted a flyer on its website of a skulking agent roaming a neighborhood as doors slammed shut. "Build a Wall of Resistance," the flier said. "Don't Talk to the FBI."
CAIR's claim of supporting law enforcement is "ludicrous," said Steven Pomerantz, the FBI's assistant director for counterterrorism in the 1990s. The group has "a consistent, long history of being antagonistic toward law enforcement."
There may be individual, anecdotal examples of some of the problems Deek described, he said, but it's simply a scare tactic to take "the worst possible scenario of law enforcement in America and it's the sole way they portray it."
CAIR officials have routinely condemned FBI terrorism and terror financing investigations. CAIR also routinely criticizes terror investigations of Muslims involving informants. After arrests in Maryland and Oregon involving men who thought they were about to bomb public places turned out to be FBI stings, Zahra Billoo, director of the San Francisco chapter that published the "wall of resistance" flier said the FBI "is creating these huge terror plots where they don't exist."
CAIR-Detroit director Dawud Walid went further in a December speech, saying, "The FBI, by using informants acting as agent provocateurs, has recruited more so-called extremist Muslims than al-Qaida themselves."
In contrast, CAIR praised the FBI following the arrests of a Christian Michigan militia group accused of plotting violence against law enforcement and may have targeted Muslims in an investigation aided by an undercover informant.
Walid devoted a year to trying to cast an FBI raid on a radical imam as an example of excessive force despite the fact that the imam refused to surrender and concealed a handgun as agents moved in to arrest him.
Yet, CAIR praised the FBI last week after it fatally shot a suspect in a 2010 pipe bomb attack on a mosque in Jacksonville, Fla. "While we regret that this individual will not face justice in a court of law, we thank the FBI for its year-long effort to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice," said Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR's Oklahoma chapter (CAIR-OK).
In Deek's presentation, however, law enforcement was something to fear. "We're in an age where we are in fact all on the radar," she said, "we are in fact most of us under investigation."
Nobody representing a police agency should be trusted, according to CAIR: "It's very important to not speak to law enforcement of any type, not just FBI agents. We're talking about New York Police Department, we're talking about tax agents, we're talking about everybody."
During a July 2009 Brooklyn fundraiser, Deek endorsed the Hamas leadership and its goal of eliminating Israel. The convoy may carry aid, but its true objective is "not about charity," she said, "but in every way that we cut it, it is political."
"This movement was born from the unmasked horrors and ugliness of the Israeli Zionist regime and the principles upon which that Zionist regime was founded," she said.
Beyond warning her audience that Mossad agents might be lurking in the shadows, her seminar last month was more about the threats Muslims face from law enforcement. If someone hasn't been confronted yet, their turn is coming, she warned.
"Nothing in the world," she said at the outset of her remarks, "is gonna prepare you for that terrifying moment when the FBI agent knocks on your door, comes to your home, stops you in the street, when the Customs agent stops you in the airport."
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