Monday, March 23, 2009

Surveillance of Muslims in Orange County and Beyond

Recent revelations that the FBI has been infiltrating local mosques to spy on mosque-goers have cast a chill on the local Islamic community. On our 23 March 2009 show, we discuss the impact with Ameena Mirza Qazi Staff Attorney of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater-Los Angeles Area Chapter.

News about such surveillance is not new. According to OC Register columnist Frank Mikadeit back in May 2006: "Earlier in the week,Pat Rose, head of the Orange County's FBI al-Qaida squad, told me and about 25 others at the breakfast that her agency was seeking out terrorists here through a variety of electronic eavesdropping techniques and that her agency is 'quite surprised' that 'there are a lot of individuals of interest right here in Orange County.'

"When asked by someone whether we should be concerned about all the Muslim students at UCI, she responded, 'Another tough question to answer.' Not only does UCI have a lot, she said, but so does USC. 'I think we need to be concerned with everybody ... with our next-door neighbor.' " [Source: Frank Mikadeit, Monitoring by the FBI and a mea culpa Local Muslims react to FBI spying, OC Register, 30 May 2006.].

Although the FBI denied it was spying on UCI students, in 2007 an FBI agent was involved in an altercation with a UCI student. See: FBI actions at UCI questioned: Muslim student says he feared agent was going to run him over; bureau says cinderblock was thrown at car. By Marla Jo Fisher, OC Register, 18 May 2007.

Recent news:

OC Weekly:

A Look at Craig Monteilh, Who Says He Spied on the Islamic Center of Irvine for the Feds by Matt Coker, OC Weekly, 4 March 2009:

LA Times:

OC Muslims say FBI surveillance has a chilling effect: Use of an informant in Orange County leads some to avoid mosques and cut charitable giving, by Teresa Watanabe and Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, 1 March 2009:


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