Schneier on Security
A blog covering security and security technology.
« House of Lords on Computer Security |
| Bulletproof Backpacks for Schoolchildren »
August 13, 2007
Paid Informants in Muslim Communities
This is a good article about the use of paid informants in Muslim communities, and how they are both creating potential terrorists where none existed before and sowing mistrust among people.
Defense lawyers in a number of other terrorism suspect cases accused informants of solely seeking financial boon by creating so-called terrorists that did not exist.
According to court records, Eldawoody was paid $100,000 over a period of 3 years.
Since Siraj's conviction, Eldawoody has his rent covered and receives a monthly stipend of $3,200.
According to The Washington Post, a police spokesman indicated the direct payments to Eldawoody would likely continue "indefinitely."
With such incentives, critics argue, informants are likely to be created out of thin air to join the "inform-and-cash" industry.
Meanwhile, the Muslim community across the country is feeling the heat of being closely watched.
"This is creating mistrust between our community and law enforcement officials," Ayloush said.
In light of their extensive criminal records, Ayloush added, these individuals would neither qualify as police officers nor as FBI agents, yet they are on the payroll of law enforcement agencies and are allowed to do law enforcement work.
"We all respect hardworking law enforcement agents," Ayloush said. "But mercenary informants? Hardly."
Posted on August 13, 2007 at 12:50 PM
• 29 Comments
To receive these entries once a month by e-mail, sign up for the Crypto-Gram Newsletter.
we have become a secret police society by all this.
IIRC, this became the path of the Roman Empire, where informants were paid out of the proceeds from the assets seized from condemned traitors.
Based on what I know of human nature and fraud, when you have such an incentive (and probably tax free as compensation as opposed to income) you can easily induce someone to commit fraud to receive the funds. And if they get bonuses for additional convictions, and have a quota to fill....
There is so much wrong there .. where to begin?
#1. Where's the checks on these people? Why are we trusting them to turn over ALL the evidence to their superiors? What happens if some of the evidence goes "missing"?
#2. Why are we hiring criminals? Wouldn't being a criminal immediately disqualify you from such activity?
#3. Once a complaint was lodged, why hasn't any action been taken?
We have honest citizens here. They're being targeted by out-of-control criminals with support from the FBI. Where are THEIR protections?
did I miss the spot in the article that asserted that Monteihl is an informant? Or is this entirely a hatchet job on the FBI based on the Siraj case?
Look up "taqiyya" in the Koran and the accompanying texts. One of the extreme views of Muslim culture and religion is that telling the truth to nonbelievers, even under oath, is optional.
Getting paid -- tax-free -- to sic the government on your business rivals? Fantastic!
Bruce, don't falls so easily for a muslim newspaper. And "creating potential terrorists where none existed before"? Give me a break.
For such money, I will call my mom a terrorist!!! Where can I apply? At the local FBI office?
Muslim community is feeling like closely watched - excellent. That's a price you pay for tolerating extremists.
And yes, collective punishment is actually good thing - proved efficient thru years of human history.
Think about it - if 9/11 would happen 300 years ago - Muslim would simply parish. Today is human right age - so they are just "being watched".
Having unsavory characters as informants is a necessary evil -- evil doers tend to accept similar folk.
I am willing to accept both that fact and the costs involved.
The control needs to be on how the informants are handled, and how the information from them is handled. For example, one cannot simply believe everything an informant says.
From the article:
"The question is: Are we genuinely monitoring would-be terrorists to protect the public, or are we in the business of creating terrorists so we can justify use of the funds appropriated to fight domestic terrorism?" Ayloush said.
Nailed it. Hate to say this but I believe we are 15% the former and 85% the latter.
Yosi, you are sounding exactly like a Nazi during Germany's 1930's speaking about the Jewish community. I am sure you are very proud of yourself.
The Sep. 11 terrorists were not part of the US Muslim community; they came from abroad. Moreover, American Muslims haev strongly and unequivocally condemned those terrorists. So explain to me again why should we support your Nazi-style collective punishment against totally innocent people?
Rachel, you seems to think that Nazi invented genocide. They just enhanced process a little bit. Unfortunately, that's a way humans resolve conflicts over land or other resources. Remember colonization of America?
On 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. That's enough justification to punish ALL Muslim you can find. It doesn't matter whether you can prove any guilt. You want to feel safe - make your enemy fear.
What I'm wondering is whether Bruce logs IP addresses of posts. It seems that the new swarm of trolls all share the same thoughts.
Or is it one troll trying to pretend to be many?
The Unabomber was mathematician. That's enough justification to punish ALL mathematicians you can find. It doesn't matter whether you can prove any guilt. You want to feel safe - make your enemy fear.
Who or taught you to hate like this?
"On 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. That's enough justification to punish ALL Muslim you can find."
I'm truly appalled.
Using criminals as informants is not a necessary evil. Where I live, when the cops do a search of your house, they shoot your dogs. Good luck bringing them back to life after it turns out the informant lied.
what's the news here .. this has been done for a long time.. I wonder how many italians were incensed when fbi heavily used witness protection programs to catch mafia dons ..
This is just another bit of nonsense by donothing people who like nothing more than to create their version of utopia in this world ..
I am wondering if Bruce is really changing over his credentials from being cryptologist to a sociologist of a particular ilk ..
I want to see some SHA .. some MD6/7/8s ... and none of this crap .. because this too will pass
@Rick . .. who will sell his mom down the river ..
"For such money, I will call my mom a terrorist!!! Where can I apply? At the local FBI office?"
Why don't you? She will be so proud of you .. while you are at .. check out what you can get for rest of your family too.
Is this the crowd you are entertaining Bruce?
"On 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. That's enough justification to punish ALL Muslim you can find."
One could make a similar sweeping generalization about Tim McVeigh and Christians.
We've had lots of problems with the snitch industry in the US due to a severe conflict of interest in paying informants. There have been a lot of SWAT raids on houses where the only "probable cause" was the money paid to an informant. Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta was one such case: a 92 year old woman shot to death by the police on a falsified no-knock warrant.
Nearly all murderous acts of terrorism on U.S. soil were perpetrated by Christian extremists.
I say we round 'em all up first. They fought hard to get to the top of the stack, give 'em what they deserve!
People, people, people, let's not get side-tracked here.
Whether or not you want to base your security policy on Islamophobia, or any other prejudice de jour, the point of Bruce's post, IMHO, is that it's not effective security policy to go on fishing expeditions using criminal "informants" who are employed by their LE handlers to go into the target communities, search out the most gullible/naive/vulnerable (read: stupid) individuals and then goad them into doing (but mostly just, saying/thinking) something stupid.
Then, they hold a televised press conference on CNN/FOX with plenty of hype, touting "success" foiling a "major terrorist operation", thus justifying their budgets and careers, only to have the case quietly thrown out or plead down 6 months later to some weak violation TOTALLY UN-RELATED TO TERRORISM, under the threat of a possible 20-year or Life sentence under new Terrorism Laws.
If this isn't security theater, what is?
Look at ANY of the recent "Terrorist Plots" that got a lot of hype / media noise, and you'll see that they fit the pattern described above ... pretty much perfectly.
> People, people, people, let's not get side-tracked here.
> If this isn't security theater, what is?
As any evil overlord can tell you, you need a population that is afraid to establish a tyranny. What the DHS (great name, "Homeland Security") is doing is instilling fear and anger. Actually there are not enough terrorists in the US yet to suspend the constitution, so the government is ruining the lives of random people in the hope that 10% of them becomes real terrorists. That is the great idea behind a "no work" list, the logical extension of the "no fly" list and those informants looking for potential Muslim terrorists.
The Italians had the same problem after the Aldo Morro (sp) incident. Everybody with a grudge called in the target of their anger stating they were a potential terrorist. Its a great way to make money, keep the courts and police busy and provide the visible evidence that the government is doing something.
Wow. $38K a year plus free rent, for what's at most a part-time job. There are a lot of people who would take that even if they didn't have a criminal record.
The use of paid informants from this community is also resulting in situations where smaller crimes are being ignored in favour of furthering the flow of "helpful" intel ...
I know of one such case right now where I live where an asset/informant is not being pursued for various serious felony-level offenses against other people (hint: things he feels culturally able to do as a near-fundamentalist) because he is simply too valuable as a souce of information to those handling and paying him off.
Schneier.com is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc.