Who ever heard of jihad terror activity being plotted in a mosque? This kind of surveillance is outrageous! "Lawsuit alleges FBI violated Muslims' freedom of religion," by Jerry Markon for the Washington Post, February 22 (thanks to all who sent this in):
An FBI informant who infiltrated a California mosque violated the constitutional rights of hundreds of Muslims by targeting them for surveillance because of their religion, the ACLU and a Muslim group said in a lawsuit Tuesday.
The lawsuit, filed against the FBI and seven of its agents and supervisors, focuses on the actions several years ago of Craig Monteilh, a paid FBI informant. Monteilh has said he was instructed to spy on worshipers at an Irvine mosque in a quest for potential terrorists, allegations that prompted fierce criticism of the FBI from some Muslims in Southern California and nationwide.
The lawsuit alleges that Monteilh was ordered by his FBI handlers to conduct "indiscriminate surveillance" of Muslims, violating their First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Filed on behalf of three Muslim plaintiffs, the 64-page document seeks class action status, unspecified damages and a court order instructing the FBI to destroy or return the information Monteilh collected.
"The FBI should be spending its time and resources investigating actual threats, not spying on every American who happens to worship at a mosque,'' said Peter Bibring, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, which filed the complaint along with the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
FBI officials declined to comment on the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, but empasized that they are careful not to violate civil liberties when they use informants and do not target anyone based on religion or ethnicity. [...]
FBI and Justice Department officials say that they have gone to great lengths to maintain good relations with Muslims and that the Monteilh case is not representative of those efforts. Some Muslims say the revelations about Monteilh have seriously damaged their relationship with the FBI....
No Muslims ever say that revelations about jihad terror activity have seriously damaged their relationship with the FBI, and that consequently they will redouble their efforts to demonstrate their loyalty to the U.S. and wholehearted rejection of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.
Ali Malik, a plaintiff in the lawsuit who helped teach Monteilh about Islam at the Irvine mosque, said the Muslim community has yet to recover from Monteilh's actions.
"A lot of people now see the mosque as a place where the government can just come in and spy on you,'' said Malik, who says he has been questioned by the FBI several times since his dealings with Monteilh. "It's going to take a long time to heal those wounds.''
Of course the wounds are all on his side. There are no wounds on the psyche of non-Muslims from the use of mosques to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the United States) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; or to train jihadists. No, none of that calls for any action on the part of Muslims at all to try to heal the wounds of non-Muslims, or to cooperate with inspection of mosques. One would think that "moderates" who deplored "terrorism" and had nothing to hide would be eager to welcome law enforcement personnel into their mosques so as to make sure they weren't used as bases of operations by members of the Tiny Minority of Extremists™.