FBI agents are devils lurking online to entrap young Muslims in bogus terrorist plots, a leading Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official told a group of Michigan youngsters earlier this week.
Dawud Walid, director of CAIR's Michigan chapter, lectured area youth on Monday about his belief that FBI agents are waiting to set them up through informants. He wants the message to reach a broader audience, posting the audio online and promoting it on his Twitter feed.
Noting the 48th anniversary of Malcolm X's assassination this week, Walid told the youth audience that history is riddled with spies who betray their own, from Malcolm X to the Islamic prophet Mohammed's companions, to Judas among Jesus' apostles.
Today, "you have agent provocateurs and people who are acting as informants that are trying to further their careers, to get out of trouble, to get arrests, try to set people up," Walid said. "And guess the No. 1 group of people who are targeted by these FBI agent provocateurs? Does anyone have a guess? Muslims."
That may be true specifically in terms of counter-terrorism cases. But a quick search of news stories from the past week shows informants and undercover agents are used in sting operations almost daily in cases involving drugs, prostitution, online child sex predators and more.
But Walid's talk, at just less than 15 minutes, had no room for context. He also devoted no time to warning the youngsters that they need to be wary of actual extremists and their message. He described hearing from a woman who said the FBI offered to help her with an immigration problem if she created a Facebook page supporting the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab.
The group is responsible for killing dozens of people in bombing attacks. It directly recruits young Somali men living in America.
"What are you waiting for O' youth?" an official says in one online recruiting video. "If you do not fight Jihad today then when will you? O Muslim youth, free your brothers from the darkness of oppression and the brutality of the enemy blows. Search for death and you will attain life. Come to jihad, you will gain honor in this life and the next."
More than 20 young Somalis reportedly left the Minneapolis area to join the group, with several dying. One, Shirwa Ahmed, became the first known American suicide bomber. It also is suspected of killing some of those Americans after they tried to leave the group.
Walid mentioned none of this to his youth audience. Rather, he cast doubt on Shabaab's terrorist designation.
"Have you all heard of al-Shabaab?" he asked. "Shabaab literally means 'youth' in Arabic, as-Shabaab al-Muslimeen is a group in Somalia that's been involved in a lot of fighting and our government calls them a terrorist organization."
Walid offered no warning about online content glorifying violent jihad, be it from al-Shabaab or in videos from American-born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Though he was killed in a 2011 drone strike, Awlaki's online sermons continue to influence would-be terrorists. Walid's speech made no attempt to tell the youngsters why such a message was wrong and should be shunned.
The only threat he described is from law enforcement. Informants play to young Muslims' emotions, Walid said, lamenting the deaths of Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. For example, "'look at what's going on in France, and America's helping the French government in Mali, and look what's going on with the Muslims in Mali.' Trying to get people, primarily youth, excited," Walid said.
"And then once one of the youth gets excited and says something back over the Internet and then goes to meet someone to have a conversation to do something, then guess what happens? The FBI comes and says 'Gotcha!' Now I'm serious. This has happened. Many times. So my advice to you is that [if] anyone strange comes into the masjid, or on your Facebook page or Twitter, and tries to get you excited about wanting to do something against the United States government or something overseas, you should be very careful. You should tell your parents the situation immediately and they should contact me at CAIR. Because nine times out of 10 the person who is trying to influence you over Twitter or over Facebook is not even a real extremist. It's someone who's with the government that's trying to set you up."
In addition to indicating that contact from "a real extremist" would be unremarkable, Walid grossly mischaracterizes law enforcement counter-terrorism stings.
It is language he has used before.
"The FBI, by using informants acting as agent provocateurs, has recruited more so-called extremist Muslims than al-Qaeda themselves," he said in December 2010. In a separate speech to CAIR-Connecticut's annual banquet that same month, he described FBI "agent provocateurs" taking advantage of "emotional people," "getting them excited," "giving them plots" and then "after they push the people," saying "gotcha!"
With this, Walid continues his long history of blatantly mischaracterizing law enforcement actions
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE AND LISTEN TO AUDIO: 02/22/2013
Editor's Note: CAIR treads dangerously close to the textbook definition of treason...
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