“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 for The Orange County Register:
…”There was a confrontation, if you will,” said UCI Police Chief Paul Henisey, who is investigating the incident to determine if any crime was committed. The students “demanded to know why this person was following them, then the person left,” he said.
In 2006, an FBI agent created an uproar in the Southern California Islamic community, when she told a group of influential businessmen and women at the Pacific Club that the FBI was fully aware of the high level of activism among Muslim students at USC and UCI.
Later, a spokeswoman for FBI Assistant Director J. Stephen Tidwell e-mailed the Register, saying, “The FBI does not monitor Muslim student groups at UC Irvine, USC or other educational institutions.”…
UCI economics student Yasser Ahmed said he was driving a borrowed truck up onto the Ring Road near the library loading dock Monday night, on intending to haul away the wall, when he noticed a silver Ford Taurus with blackened windows following him.
Ahmed said he stopped the truck in view of other campus observers and stood in front of the Taurus, trying to look through the blackened windshield and asking the driver to identify himself. When he would not speak, Ahmed said he tried to take a photo of the car’s license plate with his camera phone.
“He could have just rolled down his window and said, ‘I’m an FBI agent,’ and that would have been the end of it,” Ahmed said. “There was nothing improper going on.”
Instead, according to Ahmed, the driver revved his engine threateningly and began pushing him backward with the car’s front bumper. Ahmed said he then began calling for help, and dozens of other students ran over to assist.
“I was frightened,” Ahmed said. “I felt I could have been killed or seriously injured if I hadn’t jumped out of the way.”
Sociology student Marya Bangee, a member of the Muslim Student Union, said the incident was frightening.
“The car was revving its engine to look as intimidating as possible,” Bangee said. “I thought it was going to come and hit the (mock Palestine) wall.”
Eventually, the car roared off, according to witnesses, chased by students on bicycles and a campus police car. Later, Ahmed said a police officer told him that the car had “cold” license plates, meaning they could not be checked through normal computers.
The next morning, Ahmed said, he went to the campus police station and was told by the police chief that the man in the car was an FBI agent.
Ahmed, who lives with his family in Orange County, laughed at the idea the FBI could be investigating him.
Sociology student Bangee said UCI’s Muslim Student Union opposes violence and its members are not terrorists.
“All we do is speak out against injustice,” Bangee said, though she said she believes the FBI has been spying on students.
“We have nothing to hide,” Bangee said. “If something illegal ever happened, it might make sense. But nothing ever has. It’s complete xenophobia.”
Regarding the allegations that an FBI agent endangered a student, Eimiller said, “The fair thing to do is to let the cops investigate it.” She added that a student threw a cinderblock at the agent….
“Nothing improper going on,” eh? Could this be yet another attempt by a Muslim group to traffic in intimidation and threats and then try to claim victim status? One clue: CAIR is on the case:
The agent did not violate any policy by refusing to identify himself, Eimiller said, because he was not conducting an arrest.
UCI Police Chief Henisey said the FBI has been cooperating with his investigation.
On Thursday, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Anaheim, said his office “has received many calls from students and parents at UCI expressing extreme concern about the safety and privacy of their students on campus” since Monday.
“The calls came all day yesterday and today,” Ayloush said Thursday. “It’s understandable that law enforcement might sometimes need to verify certain tips, but the problem in this situation was the manner in which it was conducted.”
Hussam Ayloush, in a radio “debate” with me not too long ago, danced around, changed the subject, and did all he could to avoid condemning Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist organizations.