The most recent DOJ Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies still fuels surveillance of racial, ethnic, and religious communities without any connection to criminal activity
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 15 (2/24/15, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “Re: Concerns with the U.S. Department of Justice Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity,” http://www.cair.com/images/pdf/2015-02-24-TheLeadershipConferenceSign-OnLetterReDOJGuidanceRevisions.pdf, JZG + JMP)
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 81 undersigned organizations, we are writing to share our serious concerns regarding the Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity (“the new Guidance”), issued in December of 2014 by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). While the new Guidance included much-needed improvements to the 2003 Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (“the 2003 Guidance”), many issues regarding the new Guidance remain. In particular, the new Guidance preserves loopholes from the 2003 Guidance and fails to address critical matters regarding its implementation, ultimately impeding Attorney General Eric Holder’s stated goal of eliminating discriminatory policing and profiling “once and for all.” We urge you to make addressing these concerns a priority so that your administration’s final policy and legacy truly upholds fair and equal treatment for all.
Crafted under President George W. Bush and former Attorney General John Ashcroft, the 2003 Guidance was an important step forward in clarifying the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ” or “the Department”) position on racial profiling in law enforcement. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the initiation of our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft recognized that a federal directive was necessary in order to combat discriminatory law enforcement practices at home. Unfortunately, the 2003 Guidance that resulted from their efforts failed to accomplish this goal fully. Specifically, the Guidance failed to proscribe profiling on the basis of national origin or religion; included loopholes allowing law enforcement to profile on national security and border integrity grounds; did not expand the proscription on profiling to law enforcement surveillance activities; did not apply to state and local law enforcement agencies that work with federal law enforcement or receive federal funding; and failed to include enforcement mechanisms.
Considering the events of this past year, now, more than ever, it is vitally important for these shortcomings to be addressed. The shooting deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, and the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, all at the hands of local police officers, along with the troubling pattern of unresolved cases of excessive use of force perpetuated by Customs and Border Protection agents along the southern border, have spurred a national movement calling for an end to discriminatory policing practices. The use of lethal force by police in Ferguson and New York City are extreme examples of the type of racial profiling that has occurred in those cities during traffic and pedestrian stops.1 Both you and Attorney General Holder have spoken candidly about your own personal experiences with racial profiling. With the proliferation of new technologies and surveillance capabilities, state laws that target specific communities, and federal programs that involve state and local law enforcement in civil immigration enforcement, we are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. We had hoped the new Guidance would make clear once and for all that our government would not tolerate discriminatory policing practices. But, unfortunately, there are still serious flaws with the new Guidance, as indicated below:
1. The new Guidance preserves the loopholes that allow for profiling at the airports and in vast border regions by excluding Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) from its requirements. These loopholes allow federal agents to target and search travelers solely because of their race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. The new Guidance also fails to prohibit the pervasive practice of singling out and stopping individuals on suspected immigration violations for no reason other than baseless stereotypes.
2. The new Guidance effectively allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) to continue its extensive data-gathering and “mapping” of racial, ethnic, and religious communities, a technique FBI Director James Comey recently admitted that the FBI uses.2 Racial and ethnic mapping involves collecting data on “racial and ethnic oriented” neighborhoods, businesses, and places of worship to “map” and investigate those communities. The FBI has conducted mapping programs in the Muslim, Latino, African-American, Russian, and Chinese communities throughout theUnited States. This practice of gathering data on communities based on race, ethnicity, religion, or any other protected category for law enforcement and intelligence activities should be immediately discontinued. Justice also demands transparency for affected communities, as well as further information about how the FBI’s racial and ethnic mapping operation has been developed and deployed.3 We request that DOJ publicly disclose the maps that the FBI produced, and explain how the FBI uses these maps in carrying out its law enforcement and intelligence activities.
3. The new Guidance allows law enforcement to continue directing sources and informants to spy on particular communities based solely upon their protected characteristics—e.g., race, ethnicity or religion—regardless of any connection to criminal activity. This coercive practice allows for the continued and discriminatory infiltration of First Amendment protected spaces such as mosques or other houses of worship, and community organizations or events by FBI agents or informants so that they may observe, take notes and collect information, all without evidence of criminal activity. Allowing these practices to continue subjects entire racial, ethnic and religious communities to potential surveillance by law enforcement, the chilling effect of which cannot be overstated. For example, because of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Muslim spying program, many Muslims are afraid to attend mosques for fear of being targeted by law enforcement informants and officers. DOJ should announce a policy clarifying that this law enforcement practice violates the stated goals of the Guidance and end this discriminatory practice.
The FBI director even admitted the new guidelines will have no effect on agency policies
Phelps, 14 (12/9/2014, Timothy M., “Comey says new profiling guidelines will have no effect on the FBI,” http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fbi-comey-profiling-20141209-story.html, JMP)
The new Justice Department guidelines governing profiling by federal law enforcement officers will have no effect on FBI practices, its director, James B. Comey, said Tuesday.
On Monday, Comey’s boss, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., said the new guidelines were “a major and important step forward to ensure effective policing by federal law enforcement officials.”
But at a press briefing Tuesday, Comey said that the FBI, the lead federal law enforcement agency, is already in compliance with the new guidelines and strongly asserted that no changes were required.
The guidelines “don’t have any effect on the FBI,” he said
Asked whether the new guidance would change anything to FBI does now, Comey said, “No, nothing. It doesn’t require any change to our policies or procedures.”
He said the FBI field manual for agents would not be changed because it was already in compliance with the guidelines, which expand restrictions on racial and ethnic profiling to cover religion, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.
He defended the FBI practice of “mapping” communities to identify neighborhoods by race, religion or national origin. Civil rights leaders were critical Monday of the failure of the Justice Department to curtail the practice.
“We need to be able to understand the communities we serve and protect,” Comey said. “When there is a threat from outside the country, it makes sense to know who inside the country might be able to help law enforcement.”
“It is about knowing the neighborhoods: what’s it like, where’s the industry, where are the businesses, are there particular groups of folks who live in a particular area?”
The government is pressuring Muslim-Americans to become informants to conduct surveillance to try and combat extremist recruiting
Glionna, 14 (11/3/2014, John M., “U.S. Muslim leaders say FBI pressuring people to become informants,” http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-muslims-fbi-20141103-story.html, JMP)
Muslim leaders nationwide say the FBI is pressuring some Islamic community members and religious leaders to spy on fellow Muslims as part of a government effort to combat extremist recruiting in the U.S.
The campaign has intensified in recent weeks, with mosques in California, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida and other states reporting unannounced visits by FBI agents, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.
In a nationwide alert, the group urged mosque and community leaders to seek the advice of an attorney if they are approached by the FBI for questioning. They worried that the civil rights of numerous imams were being violated as the religious leaders were asked to meet with FBI agents, who then pressed them to inform on members of their congregations.
“It’s happening all over the country," said Ibrahim Hooper, a Washington-based spokesman for CAIR. “The agents are approaching these community leaders at mosques with basic questions that quickly turn into something different: pressure to become informants.”
Leaders at several mosques in California and Minnesota contacted for comment said they were afraid to speak out for fear of becoming a government target.
The FBI would not comment on the CAIR alert, but spokesman Paul Bresso said in an email that the agency respected the rights of all citizens and “we value our partnerships with the Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities as they are partners in our efforts to stem crime, violence and civil rights violations."
One agent said such visits were standard procedure. “It’s not unusual for us to go out and talk to, I don’t want to call them at-risk folks, but people dealing with issues,” said the agent, who declined to give his name because he was not authorized to talk about the matter.
Jennifer Wicks, an attorney who heads the civil rights department for CAIR, said she knew of no crimes committed by FBI agents. “No one has been detained in any way or taken from one setting to another,” she said.
She said the interrogation tactics depended on the agent and the situation.
“These visits aren’t based on people being suspected of doing anything wrong. It’s because this is a Muslim community. That’s why people are being targeted,” Wicks said.
“However, the FBI's over-broad and coercive use of informants in mosques, reports of outreach meetings being used for intelligence gathering and other acts of abuse demonstrate that community leaders should engage legal professionals to ensure the protection of their rights and those of their congregations,” Wicks said in a statement on the CAIR website.
Activists said the visits were tantamount to religious profiling.
“For us, the issue is one of civil rights,” Hooper said. “Too often these interactions are done in private and people feel coerced. Because ISIS is a hot topic, they’re going to mosques. It’s all based on the round-up-the-usual-suspects style of law enforcement.”
Federal officials are calling for new ways to fight what they see as the nation’s latest national security threat: people indoctrinated by extremists returning to plan terrorist acts here. The Justice Department recently unveiled a pilot program in Los Angeles, Boston and Minneapolis that enlists social and mental health workers, religious leaders and police to thwart Islamist group recruiters.
Orlando, Fla., attorney Hassan Shibly said he had represented 33 clients this year who claimed they had been pressured by the FBI to release information on their religious beliefs and practices. He said the number of cases had risen dramatically in the last few weeks.
“In Orlando, they pressured one citizen who happened to be Muslim to spy on mosques, Islamic restaurants and hookah lounges or they would throw him in jail,” he said. “In another case, they approached an imam with pictures of a woman they claimed would testify of an affair unless he helped them. These are law-abiding Muslims, not criminals.”
He has taken those and other cases to court, alleging the FBI was using illegal tactics to gain information.
Shibly said Muslims were targets because many didn't know their legal rights.
"The FBI thinks it can get away with bending the law," he said. "Many Muslims come from Third World countries where such practices are common fare for the secret police. But in the U.S. you don’t expect such blackmail, with threats of deportation or worse."
In several cases, Shibly said, imams were asked about their opinions on political affairs and other matters. Agents return and tell the imams that informants have contradicted their previous statements. "They are laying the groundwork for a charge of giving false information to a law enforcement officer. That’s the trick to get them to cooperate,” he said.
This FBI surveillance without reasonable suspicion sends chills through Muslim communities, deters cooperation with law enforcement and undermines anti-terror efforts. This counter-terror strategy is being exported to other countries.
Shah, 14 --- legislative counsel at the ACLU’s Washington legislative office (7/21/2014, Naureen, “The FBI’s counterterrorism sting operations are counterproductive; Feds sow mistrust and target the poor, desperate and mentally ill,” http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/7/fbi-sting-operationscounterterrorismadeldaoud.html, JMP)
Adel Daoud is no Ferris Bueller.
A Chicago suburban teen, he couldn’t drive himself to the Jewel Osco grocery store down the street without getting lost, let alone pull a Bueller and hoodwink his parents into letting him have the day off school. He is a D student and forgetful in the extreme. “He’s not a person with a complete mind,” his mother told me.
Yet the FBI began targeting Daoud as a terrorist mastermind shortly after his 18th birthday. At the time the FBI began its sting operation, Daoud wasn’t part of a terrorist cell, nor was any group recruiting him. He was, though, on the Internet, looking for answers about Islam and jihad. At home and at his local mosque, the Muslim teen was told that jihad was nonviolent: It meant supporting your family by being a good son. FBI undercover employees, finding Daoud online, did not affirm that message. Instead, they worked with Daoud, ultimately driving him to downtown Chicago to detonate a weapon of mass destruction outside a bar.
Chicago’s Muslim communities were stunned by the Daoud’s arrest in September 2012. For many, the first question was why. Why target as a terrorist-in-waiting a teen who was plainly incapable of planning and conducting a terrorist attack? The second question was one of fear: Will my child be the FBI’s next target?
As a report released today by Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute documents, the FBI’s tactics in some terrorism sting cases are not only abusive but counterproductive. They instill fear of law enforcement instead of mutual trust. And they potentially divert FBI resources from actual terrorism threats.
Sting operations are nothing new, but the FBI is using significantly more aggressive tactics in American Muslim communities than it has in others. It is deploying informants and undercover FBI agents to mosques and community centers around the country in what sometimes appear to be virtual fishing expeditions. In some cases, the FBI has instructed informants to strike up conversations about jihad with anyone who will listen.
These investigations appear to pick off the lowest-hanging fruit, including the mentally ill and the poor, who are vulnerable to manipulation. In one case, the subject of “The Newburgh Sting,” an HBO documentary premiering this week, an informant promised a 45-year-old African-American man $250,000 to participate in a fake attack. After losing his job at Walmart, the man accepted the offer.
For every terrorism bust the FBI claims based on such tactics, there is a cost.
Deploying informants and conducting surveillance without reasonable suspicion has sent chills through many American Muslim communities. Some parents with whom we spoke feared the FBI might recruit their teenage kids to become informants on their communities. Others said they feared that strangers in their mosques and community centers could be undercover FBI agents or infiltrators, hunting for youth to entrap in fake terrorist plots.
This kind of fear — in any context and no matter its actual merit — is a recipe for bad policing, since distrust of law enforcement can deter citizens from reporting a crime tip or fully cooperating in bona fide crime investigations.
The government has racked up hundreds of convictions based on terrorism stings. Multiple studies have found that nearly half of federal terrorism convictions since the 9/11 attacks resulted from informant-based cases. Some may be lawful and justifiable, yet almost 30 percent of these convictions were sting operations in which the informant played an active role in the underlying plot. In too many cases, the government, often acting through informants, developed the fake terrorism plot, persuaded and sometimes pressured the targeted individuals to participate and provided the resources to carry it out. The FBI’s wisdom in pursuing these cases, rather than investigating threats and individuals who were actually operational, is questionable at best.
Similarly questionable is the government’s expansive surveillance and collection of information about all Americans, including American Muslims, which we continue to learn about through revelations from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Rather than helping FBI analysts connect the dots, the flood of data is impairing the FBI’s ability to properly assess and respond to threat information it receives. While we can’t expect the FBI to prevent every terrorist attack, recent ones like the Boston Marathon bombing show the need for a sober re-evaluation of the agency’s methods.
Unfortunately, the Justice Department and the FBI appear unwilling or unable to critically evaluate their track record. Last week Attorney General Eric Holder urged U.S. allies to follow the FBI’s lead and adopt the same counterterrorism sting tactics. Before the U.S. exports these terrorism tactics, it should reckon with their costs.
Specifically, these concerns over surveillance are dissuading Muslim communities from fully supporting Obama’s program to Counter Violent Extremism
Audi, 15 (4/20/2015, Tamara, “U.S. Muslim Community Divided Over White House Outreach Plan; Law-enforcement efforts to prevent radicalization provoke both support and suspicion,” http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-muslim-community-divided-over-white-house-outreach-plan-1429555173, JMP)
MISSION VIEJO, Calif.—On a recent Friday in a mosque on the edge of an office park here, congregants filled rows of plastic chairs to hear community leaders discuss the role the White House hopes they will play in a new government effort to fight terrorism.
Instead, what they got was a debate over the proposed law-enforcement outreach to Muslim groups through community events, mentoring and youth programs, which are intended to prevent radicalization and identify extremists. Some Muslim leaders argued the government’s plan unfairly casts suspicion on the entire Muslim community, while others urged involvement as a way for Muslims to have a voice and safeguard their communities.
“We’re being pushed into this law-enforcement framework that’s inappropriate,” said Todd Gallinger, a representative of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in the mosque discussion. “This is something we need to avoid.”
But Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, encouraged participation, saying, “CVE is a tool.” He added that the community should think about how to “leverage CVE so that our community is seen for what it is—that it is part of the solution and has nothing to do with the problem.”
The rift playing out in the Orange County mosque and elsewhere demonstrates the challenge the Obama administration faces as it attempts to sell its plan, called Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE, to the communities crucial to its success. The issue has gained potency with the rise of Islamic State, or ISIS, a violent Islamist group aggressively recruiting young Westerners.
On Monday, the U.S. charged six Minnesota men in connection with attempts to join Islamic State, in a case involving one of the largest groups of potential foreign fighters. Minneapolis, with the country’s largest Somali immigrant population, is one of three pilot cities meant to test CVE programs before they are rolled out on a larger scale. Federal officials said the test cities, which include Boston and Los Angeles, were chosen because of strong existing relationships between the Muslim communities and law enforcement.
Government officials and supporters of the program say it isn’t a spy or intelligence-gathering mission. They note it was developed with the input of Muslim leaders from across the country, with an emphasis on mental health, social services and community-style policing, according to an administration official
The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, an umbrella group, said earlier this year that CVE singles out Muslims for law-enforcement scrutiny, which it called “constitutionally questionable and morally problematic.”
We have concerns about any program that might violate civil rights, and on the other side, we are very much concerned about individuals falling into the trap of the wrong argument ISIS is putting out there to recruit innocent young people,” said Oussama Jammal, secretary-general of the group. “We’re in a tough position.”
The CVE programs are tailored to specific community needs, administration officials say. For example, many of the Somali immigrant Muslims in Minneapolis struggle with unemployment. Muslim communities in Los Angeles are more economically and ethnically diverse, and new immigrants often have trouble finding social and health services. In Boston, a college town that draws a diverse Muslim student population, the program could include psychologists to work with young people.
Federal officials are meeting with Muslims groups across the country to discuss the program, the administration official said.
Already, more than two dozen religious and civil-rights groups have publicly opposed or criticized CVE, including the American Civil Liberties Union, CAIR, Muslim Advocates and New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, as well as some Muslim student associations and Muslim religious leaders. Some say they fear that the plan may include surveillance of Muslims.
Despite the criticism, government officials say many Muslim communities have embraced the program, such as in Denver and Detroit, especially in the wake of more high-profile prosecutions of young people from the U.S. attempting to join Islamic State.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, whose county includes Minneapolis, spoke about his outreach efforts at the White House summit on CVE earlier this year. He and others from his department attend Somali community events several nights a week. His department also hired a Somali refugee to serve as ambassador to the Somali community. Under CVE, Mr. Stanek said he hopes to expand that outreach with more community liaisons to the Somali community.
“We’ve built trust and that’s paid off tremendously,” Mr. Stanek said, pointing to the arrests in Minnesota as partly the result of information provided by community members. “This is what community outreach progarms are about.”
“People are really worried about” ISIS recruitment, said an administration official. “So if Muslim-American groups are concerned, that’s not the government singling them out. That’s the government responding to their needs.”
Another administration official recalled that in meetings with Muslim leaders at the White House earlier this year, President Barack Obama said that “there have been cases in the past that made the community more mistrustful, and said that’s why it’s so important for the community to be more involved.”
“The core of this program is building healthy and resilient communities, promoting civic participation,” said Joumana Silyan-Saba of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, who worked on L.A.’s CVE. Law enforcement has a role, she said, but the program also calls for beefing up social services for immigrant families.
That hasn’t been enough for some Muslims, who point to high-profile instances of surveillance in the past decade, including a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant in Orange County.
In the latter case, Craig Monteilh, a convicted check forger, said in court documents that the FBI hired him to pose as a Muslim and spy on mosques in the area. The FBI said it used him as a “confidential human source,” but didn’t detail his actions in court documents. An FBI spokeswoman said the FBI doesn’t target any individual or group based on religion.
Metra Salem, a 36-year-old mother of three and the daughter of Afghan immigrants, said she supports the Obama plan. “I want my kids to be part of this country. I’m tired of this victim-minority-group, marginalization narrative,” she said.
Mohannad Malas, a member of the mosque’s board, said he hadn’t heard enough to come to conclusions. His mosque regularly hosts visits from local law enforcement and city officials, he said, adding, “We have nothing to hide.”
But Mr. Malas cited the visit years ago by an official from the FBI’s Los Angeles office. “He told us that he thinks of our community as the solution, and after that visit, we felt part of the solution,” Mr. Malas said. “Turns out, they were planting an informant [Mr. Monteilh].”
There is a direct relationship between the government’s coercive surveillance and the willingness of Muslim Americans to cooperate with Homeland Security
Olson, 14 (11/14/2014, David, “Homeland Security chief touts cooperation with Muslims; But some Muslim and civil-rights organizations say they still don’t trust the federal government and worry about informants in mosques,” http://www.pe.com/articles/johnson-754183-meeting-muslims.html, JMP)
Some Southern California Muslim leaders Thursday left a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson worried about what they view as continued government stigmatization of Muslims, while others said they were optimistic about Johnson’s talk of cooperation and collaboration with their mosques and communities in combating extremism.
The meeting at a Rowland Heights mosque was part of a three-day visit by Johnson to Southern California. Today, he is scheduled to deliver congratulatory remarks during a ceremony at the Ontario Convention Center in which about 1,000 immigrants will become citizens.
During a news conference Thursday outside the mosque, Johnson said the meeting with several dozen Muslim leaders was “to build partnerships and build trust” and to “hear some of the issues and grievances people in the Islamic community have” with, among other issues, passenger screening at airports.
Johnson called Islam a religion of peace and said he realized that only a tiny number of U.S. Muslims are extremists. But he asked for Muslims’ help in detecting extremists who could be prone to violence, dissuading them and, if necessary, contacting law enforcement.
“This is as much your homeland, your country, your public safety as anybody else’s,” Johnson said as he was flanked by several participants in the meeting.
Corona’s Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the greater Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and one of the Muslim leaders with whom Johnson met, gave Johnson credit for meeting with area Muslims.
But he said Johnson offered few details on DHS’ fledgling Countering Violent Extremism program and worried that DHS would continue previous FBI practices of sending informants into mosques.
The FBI has repeatedly been accused of infiltrating mosques. One of the best-known alleged informants, Craig Monteilh, said he was paid by the FBI to record conversations in Orange County mosques in 2006 and 2007. The FBI has said in the past that its investigations were based upon allegations of criminal activity, while Ayloush and other civil-rights leaders said the infiltration of mosques were fishing expeditions that sometimes involved trying to goad people into making extremist statements.
In September, an Ontario man and a Pomona man were convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. troops overseas and other crimes after a paid FBI informant who was a convicted drug felon testified against them. The men’s attorneys accused the informant of being a provocateur who entrapped their clients, and CAIR expressed concern that the informant led the men into the alleged plot. Prosecutors said the men were plotting an attack long before the informant started monitoring them.
Asked at the news conference whether DHS sends or would send informants into mosques without mosque leaders’ knowledge, Johnson did not answer directly.
“There’s a distinction to be drawn between asking someone to be an informant and asking for public participation ... to be on the lookout for potential acts of violence,” he said.
Ayloush said continuing distrust of the federal government among some Muslims makes it less likely they will report suspicious activity.
“The more we marginalize a community and undermine the trust between a community and law enforcement, the harder we make it to partner with law enforcement or report suspicious activities,” he said.
Failure to resolve the trust deficit caused by surveillance policy will undermine the implementation of the CVE program --- it’s necessary to prevent U.S. youth from joining ISIS and returning home to carry out terrorist attacks
Schmitt, 14 (10/5/2014, Eric, “U.S. Is Trying to Counter ISIS's Efforts to Lure Alienated Young Muslims,” Lexis, JMP)
DUBLIN, Ohio -- In this central Ohio town, parents and community leaders are expressing growing fears that their youths may succumb to the Islamic State's savvy social media appeal to join its fight on battlefields in Iraq and Syria.
But when Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson showed up recently at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center here to offer a sympathetic ear and federal assistance, he faced a litany of grievances from a group of mostly Muslim leaders and advocates.
They complained of humiliating border inspections by brusque federal agents, F.B.I. sting operations that wrongly targeted Muslim citizens as terrorists and a foreign policy that leaves President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in place as a magnet for extremists.
''Our relationship has to be built on trust, but the U.S. government hasn't given us very many reasons to build up that trust,''said Omar Saqr, 25, the cultural center's youth coordinator.
As the United States carries out yet another bombing campaign across two Islamic countries, the Obama administration is redoubling its efforts to stanch the flow of radicalized young Muslim Americans traveling to Syria to join the fight and potentially returning as well-trained militants to carry out attacks here.
American law enforcement and intelligence officials say more than 100 Americans have gone to Syria, or tried to so far. That number of Americans seeking to join militants, while still small, was never seen during the two major wars fought in Afghanistan and Iraq after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The threat of homegrown radicals like the Boston Marathon bombers has prompted the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to try to forge ties with community leaders and police departments as a front line in the war against a sophisticated online propaganda and recruiting effort mounted by the Islamic State.
But as administration officials attempt to accelerate their own lobbying campaign, they have found that security rules put in place to defend America from a terror attack have played a role in alienating young Muslim men and women -- the exact group being courted by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Still, community leaders are so fearful their youths may follow the Islamic State's propaganda that, during a 90-minute meeting with more than 60 local leaders, police officers and advocates, they pressed Mr. Johnson to prove the government is sincere in its offers of help.
Lila Al Sibai, a 28-year-old mother of three young children and a member of the cultural center's board, asked for a $4 million federal grant to build a new gym and classrooms for the facility. ''We need to have more activities for our youth,'' she said after the meeting in this suburb of Columbus, which is the home of the country's second-largest Somali-American community, behind only Minneapolis.
Mr. Saqr, the youth coordinator, suggested that Mr. Johnson's agency offer a prize to the best countermessage to the Islamic State's propaganda.
''Our youth are being hoodwinked and hijacked by their rhetoric,'' he said. ''We cannot just say ISIS is bad. That's not an option. We need an outlet.''
And Hossam Musa, 34, the imam of the cultural center, which draws 4,000 to 5,000 people for Friday Prayer each week, proposed that the Department of Homeland Security hire authoritative Islamic scholars to help combat the Islamic State's violent narrative.
''How do we beat ISIL? What's our response to a young man wowed by their message? You beat them at their own game,'' he said.
Mr. Johnson, the nation's top homeland security official since December, was here as part of a community outreach tour that so far this year has taken him to the Chicago area, and will land him in Los Angeles, New York and other cities in the coming months.
His aim is to build partnerships between the federal government and the local law enforcement, educational and community groups that are better positioned to detect potential militants in their midst and to derail those young men and women from the path of radicalization before they turn violent.
These efforts have been underway since the Sept. 11 attacks, but have often failed to gain traction, government officials acknowledge.
''We can't allow youth to fall prey to ISIL's ideology,'' Mr. Johnson said. ''We need to provide them an alternative to rechannel their hopes and rechannel their passions.''
It is a clarion call also sounded by the F.B.I., the Justice Department and the National Counterterrorism Center, which together with Mr. Johnson's agency recently started pilot programs in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
The goal is to reach out to schools, health care providers and community groups to get their help in monitoring and deterring the radicalization of young people who may be susceptible to recruitment -- like the two brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed four people last year.
The White House is sponsoring a meeting later this fall with specialists from across the country.
But even former top counterterrorism officials say the administration faces an uphill battle.
American officials have been able to identify Americans fighting for the Islamic State or other Syrian rebel groups based on intelligence gathered from travel records, family members, intercepted electronic communications, social media postings and surveillance of Americans overseas who had expressed interest in going to Syria, counterterrorism officials said.
But efforts at countering violent extremism, especially at home, ''have lagged badly behind other counterterrorism pillars,'' said Michael Leiter, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. ''It is heartening to see the administration attempt to invigorate those efforts, but it is unfortunate that it has, despite the efforts of many, been so long in coming.''
Government supporters question whether funds will be available to sustain these programs. ''The administration has the right framework for doing this, but long-term success will depend on sustainable resourcing to help local government, communities and law enforcement build initiatives that can have impact,'' said Quintan Wiktorowicz, a former senior White House aide who was one of the principal architects of the current strategy.
That strategy here at home, called countering violent extremism, has proved much more difficult for American officials to master than the ability of the Pentagon and spy agencies to identify, track, capture and, if necessary, kill terrorists overseas.
Among its efforts, the Department of Homeland Security provides training to help state and local law enforcement officials in identifying and countering the threat, including indicators of violent extremism and ''lone wolf'' attacks.
The department awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police a $700,000 grant last year to develop training on how to prevent, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism.
The department has also sponsored exercises in seven cities, including Houston, Seattle, and Durham, N.C., to improve communication between local law enforcement and communities and to share ideas on how best to build community resilience against violent extremism. ''We're raising awareness,'' said David Gersten, who was recently named the department's coordinator for the overall effort.
Carter M. Stewart, the United States attorney in the Columbus area, said he and his staff meet regularly with Somali-American and other community leaders.
But Muslim advocates say there is deep suspicion that, despite all the meetings and the talk of outreach, the government's main goal is to recruit informants to root out suspected terrorists.
''I don't know how we can have a partnership with the same government that spies on you,'' said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities.
Indeed, those who met with Mr. Johnson were conflicted, some saying they were pleasantly surprised he had traveled here to put a face on the federal effort, but clearly embittered by their past experiences with the government.
Now is critical --- a wave of attacks is possible and current surveillance policies will fail. Only ensuring the implementation of the CVE strategy can prevent them.
Cohen & Farmer, 15 --- *former Acting Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis and Counter-Terrorism coordinator at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, AND **former senior counsel for the 9/11 Commission (6/19/2015, John & John --- both serve on the faculty of Rutgers University’s Faith-Based Communities Security Program at the Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, “As terrorist threat changes, so should ways we combat it,” http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/245478-as-terrorist-threat-changes-so-should-ways-we-combat-it, JMP)
This week's calls by ISIS on social media for lone-wolf terrorist attacks outside of Syria and Iraq raises the specter of a wave of attacks like those law enforcement has confronted in Paris, Copenhagen, Dallas, and Boston.This threat coincides with elevated concern by the FBI and also raises the question of whether law enforcement's tactics have evolved to meet the transformed threat posed by people who are inspired by organizations like al Qaeda or ISIS but who act independently of them. Such threats are by nature more difficult to detect or deter and are, increasingly, directed at law enforcement itself.
The threat to our nation by independent, violent extremists is the newest element to an always evolving and ever-changing threat environment, and an element our traditional counter-terrorism capabilities may be ill suited to address.
Fourteen years after September 11th, much has changed to keep our country safer. We now have a robust counter-terrorism infrastructure weaving together our nation’s intelligence, military and law enforcement capabilities. But it is a system designed to prevent attacks by individuals or groups acting under the control of designated foreign terrorist groups. This threat has not gone away as groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda still pose a significant risk to the US. But our infrastructure was not intended to detect and mitigate the threat posed by individuals living in the U.S. who are inspired by extremist ideology but who do not have an affiliation with foreign terrorist organizations. These individuals find resonance in the messages they view online and via sophisticated social media campaigns employed by groups like ISIS, and become willing to carry out attacks without ever interacting with other members of a terrorist group.
In August 2011, the Obama administration released the country’s first national strategy to prevent violent extremism domestically. The countering violent extremism (CVE) strategy focused on the principles that “(1) communities provide the solution to violent extremism; and (2) CVE efforts are best pursued at the local level, tailored to local dynamics, where local officials continue to build relationships within their communities through established community policing and community outreach mechanisms.”
Last summer, Rutgers University initiated a project examining mass casualty attacks in Europe and the U.S. for the purposes of identifying effective prevention strategies. Through this effort we have worked closely with law enforcement officials, faith leaders, mental health professionals and others. We have concluded that while the language of the national strategy is sound, we believe that in practice, we have strayed from the intended approach and it is time to re-focus the implementation of the president’s strategy.
CVE means more than outreach to the Arab-American and Muslim communities, which senior leaders at the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies have been conducting. Roundtables do not solve problems. If the discussions do not include concrete and tangible ways that authorities and community members can work together to prevent violence in a given jurisdiction, then we cannot mitigate this threat.
Addressing this threat also means more than "countering the narrative." We need to better understand why an increasing number of people from European nations, Canada and the U.S. are inspired by ISIS-like narratives and are willing to join the ideological cause and carry out a violent attack in furtherance of this ideology.
The federal government simply does not have the resources to conduct surveillance and investigate the expanding number of individuals who derive inspiration from groups like ISIS.More then ever, we must empower local efforts to strengthen critical partnerships between law enforcement, the communities they serve and others such as mental health professionals, educators, and faith leaders. We must create a holistic and collaborative way to detect, assess and intervene in situations where individuals may exhibit the behaviors and indicators of violent extremism as to prevent a violent attack.
Aggressive law enforcement remains necessary to counter violent extremism, but it alone is no longer sufficient. We must adopt an approach to CVE that recognizes the limitations of "detect and arrest" in the new threat environment; traditional law enforcement tactics must be supplemented by approaches that engage local communities and civil society to identify incipient at risk individuals and to develop other, earlier forms of intervention.
The plan will rebuild relations with Muslim communities and alleviate the fear surrounding terrorism investigations involving informants. The intel that is collected from current surveillance strategies is useless --- the FBI uses this policy to manufacture terror plots.
Stabile, 14 --- J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 2013 (February 2014, Emily, California Law Review, “Recruiting Terrorism Informants: The Problems with Immigration Incentives and the S-6 Visa,” 102 Calif. L. Rev. 235, Lexis, JMP)
C. Terrorism Informants' Presence in Muslim and Middle Eastern Communities Damages Intelligence Efforts
Many argue that tactics like recruiting informants through immigration law and surveilling mosques are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, and that national security must be the nation's top priority, whatever the cost. These arguments fail to recognize that when informants lack a specific target and direction, the gathered intelligence does not necessarily enhance the nation's security. Instead, the FBI - with little concern for the actual gravity of the original threat posed by the suspect - creates an elaborate terrorism plot for the surveillance targets to participate in. n100 After 9/11, many individuals who showed no signs of violence or extremism prior to involvement with informants and government-created plots have been prosecuted under terrorism charges. n101 Until the informants provided the means, these individuals did not have the finances or the proper connections to conceive and carry out these terrorism plans. Although orchestrating these plots makes the FBI's preventative stance appear successful in the public eye, it diverts law enforcement resources from focusing on real targets.
Moreover, Professor David A. Harris claims that "the unregulated use of informants in mosques and other religious and cultural settings can also do great damage because it poses the risk of cutting off our best possible source of intelligence: the voluntary, cooperative relationships that have developed between law enforcement and Muslim communities." n102 Having community members report suspicious information to the FBI may be a more effective way of obtaining reliable terrorism intelligence from these communities. n103 For example, in the few domestic terrorist prosecutions where a terrorist attack plan actually existed prior to informant involvement, community members who had noticed something amiss were the first to alert the FBI and identify the subjects. n104 In fact, since 9/11, community members have assisted law enforcement in stopping potential terrorism plots in a number of cases. n105 A [*252] recent example, the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "Underwear Bomber," shows that the attempted bombing could have been prevented had law enforcement heeded the warnings that Abdulmutallab's father gave the CIA at the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. n106 As the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and former criminal prosecutor, David Chiu testified regarding the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities in San Francisco: "Without that level of cooperation, that level of trust, everything falls apart ... . Surveillance only serves to continue to drive wedges when cooperation is what is needed most." n10
Analogous to the way informants in mosques target vulnerable individuals despite these individuals' lack of connection to terrorist organizations or predilection for extremism, a 2011 study by the Migration Policy Institute demonstrates a similar phenomenon within other communities. n108 The 287(g) initiative, named after the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that authorized it, allows ICE to enter into memorandums of agreement with state and local law enforcement agencies, empowering these agencies to directly enforce immigration laws. n109 However, the study found that half of the jurisdictions using 287(g) did not direct their enforcement efforts toward serious or violent offenders, n110 as the 287(g) initiative had originally envisioned. n111 Instead, these jurisdictions sought to deport as many offenders as possible regardless of the severity of the crime. n112
Study respondents "believe that 287(g) program activities affect the community in distinct and adverse ways, including by causing declines in Latino immigrant populations, [creating] avoid[ance of] public places by these populations, changing  driving behavior, [creating] fear and mistrust of the police and other authorities, and reducing crime reporting." n113 These behaviors were more acute in jurisdictions with nontargeted enforcement, [*253] where any offense could constitute grounds for deportation. n114 Just as Latino immigrant communities became distrustful of law enforcement and withdrew from crime reporting when threatened with deportation, so did Muslim and Middle Eastern communities when threatened with FBI surveillance of communal spaces. As the study notes, "these operations can generate widespread distrust of police. Such distrust in turn prompts immigrants to change their behavior to avoid contact with police and other authorities." n115
In order to procure accurate intelligence from any community, a relationship of trust and respect between law enforcement and the community must exist. n116 However, from the mass arrest and detention of Muslims shortly after 9/11 n117 to the ongoing allegations of ethnic and religious profiling today, n118 the federal government has made serious errors in dealing with Muslim and Middle Eastern communities since 9/11. While the government recognizes that community policing n119 is the best way to obtain reliable intelligence, n120 the FBI is caught between two contradictory strategies and must choose between sending informants into mosques without reasonable suspicion, and gaining the trust and cooperation of Muslim and Middle Eastern communities. As one congregant in a surveilled mosque observed, "The FBI wants to treat the Muslim community as a partner while investigating us behind our backs ... . They can't have it both ways." n121 While it is unrealistic to think that the FBI will stop using informants in these communities, a more restrained use of informants based on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing would mitigate perceived damages to community relations. Requiring the FBI to have preexisting reasonable suspicion would add credibility to the agency and alleviate some of the fear surrounding terrorism investigations involving informants.
[*254] By virtue of their connections and daily interactions, those active in a particular community are in the best position to notice when others in the community act strangely. Unlike informants who may be new to the community and who other members may view with suspicion, well-established community members may already know what is going on in their community and can more accurately spot genuine threats.
Boston demonstrates that a strong community based strategy is essential for effective counterterrorism --- we control the strongest internal link
Quinan, Lawyer and criminologist, AND Rameriz, 13 (6/24/2013, Tara Lai Quinlan and Deborah Ramirez, “The Boston Tragedy Reveals the Need for Community-Based Counterterrorism Strategies,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-ramirez/counterterrorism-strategy-boston-bombing_b_3148235.html, JMP)
As part of the Boston community, we share the sadness of last week's Boston Marathon bombings. Thanks to excellent police work and public cooperation, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev were identified as the perpetrators and are reportedly unaffiliated with any larger terrorist network. But going forward, how can law enforcement increase its ability to identify would-be terrorists operating below the radar?
Experts point out that many terrorist groups like al Qaeda are increasingly decentralized, making them difficult to monitor and infiltrate.Experts also highlight the limited ability of the federal counterterrorism infrastructure to identify independent terrorist cells and lone wolf terrorists; the difficulty of identifying readers of extremist propaganda; and, most importantly, the challenges determining which individuals will turn to violent action. In this case, the FBI questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, possibly about his interest in extremist Internet propaganda or ties to Chechnya, but apparently lacked sufficient information to detain him further. With this in mind, how can law enforcement gain the intelligence necessarily to stop potential terrorists before they act?
Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, has one proposal: he has renewed calls for increased surveillance of all Muslim communities. King asserts that this is the same practice used against Irish and Italian gangsters involved in organized crime. But that is simply not the case. Monitoring individuals suspected of involvement in organized crime is readily distinguishable from surveilling millions of American Muslims absent any reasonable suspicion criminal wrongdoing.
Moreover, there is now significant consensus among most intelligence experts that profiling based on religious affiliation is ineffective because it is too widely shared a characteristic to be a shortcut for identifying those who might engage in violence. Furthermore, as civil liberties experts have long argued, profiling based on religion unnecessarily alienates communities that could potentially serve as important partners for law enforcement in countering terrorism.
Rather than support Congressman King's approach, we believe the Boston tragedy offers lessons to improve our national security infrastructure but remain more consistent with our democratic values of justice, fairness, and human decency.
In this case, it is now emerging from friends and associates of the Tsarnaevs that, upon reflection, they sensed something might have been amiss before the attacks. For example, Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly twice disrupted services at a local mosque. And there may be an additional trail of unusual speech or behavior -- refusing to see friends or family, posting violent messages on the Internet, contemplating death -- that would have alerted family, friends or community members to something being out of place. But whom could they have alerted to these concerns? Could they have confidence that information shared with law enforcement would be discreetly and professionally handled? Could they be assured that police would not overreact, but would instead rationally determine if there were genuine issues requiring further investigation? For law enforcement to benefit from voluntary community intelligence they must create trust relationships allowing community members to articulate concerns that may or may not indicate an intention to engage in violence. This also means incorporating collaborative, long-term community-police partnerships into the national counterterrorism strategy.
But partnerships are not easy to build. Partnerships are not achieved through coercion, force, or infiltration. They require voluntary engagement with communities through mutual trust and cooperation. This means winning the hearts and minds of communities so they become real partners in counterterrorism efforts and work collaboratively to address problems of common concern.
Partnerships have already been piloted in domestic counterterrorism efforts, and have been used for years in cities like Dearborn, Los Angeles, and London. And beyond the counterterrorism context, partnerships have achieved success in reducing gang violence in cities like Boston and Glasgow, and drugs sales in places like High Point, North Carolina. It is by relying on common sense that the national security infrastructure can be expanded to address some of its current limitations.
It is true that not all terrorist acts in the United States can be avoided, and unfortunately more will succeed. But by incorporating voluntary, partnership-based community intelligence gathering practices into our national security infrastructure, we can improve our chances of preventing some attacks.
Terrorist attacks will escalate and kills billions
Myhrvold 2014 (Nathan P [chief executive and founder of Intellectual Ventures and a former chief technology officer at Microsoft]; Strategic Terrorism: A Call to Action; cco.dodlive.mil/files/2014/04/Strategic_Terrorism_corrected_II.pdf; kdf)
Technology contains no inherent moral directive—it empowers people, whatever their intent, good or evil. This has always been true: when bronze implements supplanted those made of stone, the ancient world got scythes and awls, but also swords and battle-axes. The novelty of our present situation is that modern technology can provide small groups of people with much greater lethality than ever before. We now have to worry that private parties might gain access to weapons that are as destructive as—or possibly even more destructive than—those held by any nation-state. A handful of people, perhaps even a single individual, could have the ability to kill millions or even billions. Indeed, it is possible, from a technological standpoint, to kill every man, woman, and child on earth. The gravity of the situation is so extreme that getting the concept across without seeming silly or alarmist is challenging. Just thinking about the subject with any degree of seriousness numbs the mind. The goal of this essay is to present the case for making the needed changes before such a catastrophe occurs. The issues described here are too important to ignore. Failing nation-states—like North Korea—which possess nuclear weapons potentially pose a nuclear threat. Each new entrant to the nuclear club increases the possibility this will happen, but this problem is an old one, and one that existing diplomatic and military structures aim to manage. The newer and less understood danger arises fromthe increasing likelihood thatstateless groups, bent on terrorism, will gain access to nuclear weapons, most likely by theft from a nation-state. Should this happen, the danger we now perceive to be coming from rogue states will pale in comparison. The ultimate response to a nuclear attack is a nuclear counterattack. Nation states have an address, and they know that we will retaliate in kind. Stateless groups are much more difficult to find which makes a nuclear counterattack virtually impossible. As a result, they can strike without fear of overwhelming retaliation, and thus they wield much more effective destructive power. Indeed, in many cases the fundamental equation of retaliation has become reversed. Terrorists often hope to provoke reprisal attacks on their own people, swaying popular opinion in their favor. The aftermath of 9/11 is a case in point. While it seems likely that Osama bin Laden and his henchmen hoped for a massive overreaction from the United States, it is unlikely his Taliban hosts anticipated the U.S. would go so far as to invade Afghanistan. Yes, al-Qaeda lost its host state and some personnel. The damage slowed the organization down but did not destroy it. Instead, the stateless al-Qaeda survived and adapted. The United States can claim some success against al-Qaeda in the years since 9/11, but it has hardly delivered a deathblow. Eventually, the world will recognize that stateless groups are more powerful than nation-states because terrorists can wield weapons and mount assaults that no nationstate would dare to attempt. So far, they have limited themselves to dramatic tactical terrorism: events such as 9/11, the butchering of Russian schoolchildren, decapitations broadcast over the internet, and bombings in major cities. Strategic objectives cannot be far behind.