Friday, June 14, 2013

No Mosques Monitored, Everyone Else, Yes

The whole NSA phone surveillance scandal has pretty much split the nation, even down party lines.  On the one hand, we have those who believe that monitoring is a necessary evil, a means to protect our country from terrorists and a repeat of 9/11, and that if you have nothing to hide then what's the big deal. On the other hand, we have those who believe that it's a huge "Big Brother" infringement upon our privacy. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, I think we can all agree that if nothing else we should be monitoring mosques, considering the bulk of terrorist activity in the 21st century is Islamic-based. But apparently mosques were not being monitored. That's right, the FBI were not allowed anywhere near mosques, unless it was approved.

According to Investor's Business Daily:

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel's formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
If this is true, it's outrageous.  Then again, airport security will pat down an old-lady in a wheelchair, rather than singling out those who would be more likely to harm us.

One has to wonder had the FBI been monitoring mosques could the Boston Marathon bombings been prevented?

The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn't monitored, red flags didn't go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

If you're going to monitor everyone, then don't exclude a segment of the U.S. population that has spawned radicals from its midst.

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