News & Politics

Muslims in FBI Complain of 'Climate of Suspicion'

Law enforcement officials gather outside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Despite the declared war on the West by members of the Islamic ummah, it appears that some Muslims object to the necessarily heightened scrutiny their backgrounds call for. Including those working for our security services:

Muslim special agents and intelligence analysts at the FBI are reporting a climate of fear inside the agency coinciding with the political ascendance of Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned.

FBI officials from Muslim-majority countries, a minority in a predominantly white bureau, say they are subject to an organizational culture of suspicion and hostility that leadership has done little to reform. At least one decorated intelligence analyst has been fired this year after a long ordeal which began with a routine foreign visit to see his family.

His case and others in which Muslim agents have reported a workplace culture that includes open-ended investigations predicated on their backgrounds were brought to the personal attention of the FBI’s director, James Comey, throughout 2016.

Muslim FBI officials are alarmed that their religion and national origin is sufficient for the bureau’s security division to treat them as a counterintelligence risk, a career-damaging obstacle that their native-born white FBI colleagues do not encounter.

Well, how about that? I suspect the same was true of agents recruited from Soviet Russian and Eastern European backgrounds during the Cold War. And German-Americans came under a great deal of suspicion during World War I.

Notice also the “progressive” author Spencer Ackerman’s gratuitous injection of race into his report. Well, as long as we’re at it, let me help you out here; not only is the Bureau “white” — like almost 90% of the American population until relatively recently, as a result of the settling of the nation largely from Europe — but it’s also heavily Irish-American. So what?

Muslim FBI officials are alarmed that their religion and national origin is sufficient for the bureau’s security division to treat them as a counterintelligence risk, a career-damaging obstacle that their native-born white FBI colleagues do not encounter.

They do not dispute a need to vet potential insider threats, but they bristle at what they consider selective enforcement and an inability for those caught in a process based on their heritage to escape suspicion.

Of course we need loyal and patriot Muslim-Americans in our security services; I have one such as a character in my series of “Devlin” novels about the National Security Agency and the New York City Police Department. But it’s entirely reasonable to subject them to heightened scrutiny — not just them, but their extended families.

[FBI director James] Comey wrote to a Muslim analyst on 20 October: “We need folks from your background and many others if we are to be effective. Of course, we must also discharge our duty to apply appropriate scrutiny when folks have significant foreign national contacts or contacts of concern with subject [sic] of criminal, counter-intelligence or counter-terrorism cases, by virtual of [sic] family friends or travel. I see that scrutiny applied in a whole lot of contexts, and none of it is based on religion, and it never should be.”

He added: “The challenge is figuring out what scrutiny is appropriate and how to talk to the employee about it.”

In other words, this is all completely normal. It’s people like Ackerman and the Guardian who are trying to make an issue of it. Because to them, everything is racism, even your instinct for self-preservation.

 

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