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Tag: Muslims

Trump’s Pick for Homeland Security Secretary to Make Case for Confirmation

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s pick for Homeland Security secretary pledged to commit to diversity and tolerance if confirmed during a Senate hearing beginning Tuesday.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly is likely to be grilled about his positions following President-elect Donald Trump’s divisive, controversial statements about immigrants, Mexicans and Muslims.

Kelly will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

“I believe in America and the principles upon which our country and way of life are guaranteed. I believe in respect, tolerance, and diversity of opinion. I have a profound respect for the rule of law and will always strive to uphold it,” Kelly plans to tell the panel, Politico reports. “I have never had a problem speaking truth to power, and I firmly believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations.”

Kelly plans to you his military experience and roll as a military adviser.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-Homeland Security Staffer Says Muslim Registry ‘Ineffective’ But ‘Easy’ to Reinstate

islamic-hand-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s reported desire to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries would be logistically “really easy” but also “costly and ineffective,” said a former Homeland Security policy staffer under Presidents Bush and Obama.

Theresa Cardinal Brown said the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which is now defunct, was laborious and difficult to manage, BuzzFeed reports. 

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who reportedly is advising Trump, said the president-elect has indicated he wants to reactivate the program.

BuzzFeed wrote:

Under NSEERS, men from 25 majority-Muslim countries entering the country were forced to register, get fingerprinted, and told to check in regularly with immigration officers. The program ran until 2011, when DHS deemed it redundant. However, NSEERS still remains on the books at DHS — except all 25 countries have been removed, so no registration requirements currently exist for anyone.

Brown, who overall worked at DHS from 2005 through 2011 and is now director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told BuzzFeed News “I’m not sure I understand the rationale for it now.”

She added that NSEERS was “costly and ineffective” and that there was “a lot of confusion around the program.” For instance, registered individuals were supposed to periodically check in with local Immigration officers, but “people weren’t given the proper follow-up information,” Brown said.

Brown recalls that the program did lead to a few thousand deportations — mostly for individuals who had overstayed their visas. No suspected terrorists or terrorist plotters identified through the system were prosecuted, she said.

Hate Crimes Against Muslims Surged 67% in 2015, Second Highest on Record

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Reported hate crimes against Muslims increased a whopping 67% in 2015, according to official FBI data released Sunday.

Overall, hate crimes reported to police spiked 6.8%.

The number of reported hate crimes targeting Muslims jumped from 154 in 2014 to 257 in 2015, marking the second highest number since the federal government began recording hate crimes in 1992.

The highest on record was 481 in 2011, when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred.

More than half of the overall hate crimes – 3,310 – involved race. More than 1,050 incidents targeted people due to sexual orientation.

But those numbers are likely only a fraction of the actual hate crimes committed across the country because many police agencies didn’t submit any incidents for the past six year.

Many observers believe hate crimes will spike in 2016 because of the divisive rhetoric of Donald Trump.

FBI Interviews Muslims Following Warning of Possible Terrorism Attack on Eve of Election

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that al-Qaeda may be planning attacks the day before the U.S. election have prompted the FBI to question Muslims in several states, a Muslim community leader told the Dallas Morning News. 

The North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations said it has received repots that FBI agents were questioning Muslims from Kansas, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.

“It was made apparent to us that the FBI has a list of a couple hundred people they are wanting to visit and ask a series of eight generic questions intended to drum up information about the attacks,” Alia Salem, the group’s director, said.

The FBI in Dallas declined to comment.

On Friday, intelligence officials said al-Qaeda may be planning attacks on the eve of the election.

“The FBI and [Department of Homeland Security], working with our federal, state and local counterparts, share and assess intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” the unnamed source told CBS News.

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.

Teachers, Others Oppose FBI’s Online Anti-Extremism Video

Screenshot of the video, "Don't Be a Puppet."

Screenshot of the video, “Don’t Be a Puppet.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI hoped to discourage teenagers from becoming extremists by introducing a video called, “Don’t Be a Puppet.” 

The idea was to counter homegrown extremism by teaching users how to identify young people who are gravitating toward radical ideology.

But now the American Federation of Teachers union and other groups are vocally opposing the video, saying it could lead to more distrust of peaceful Muslims, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

In August, the groups, which include the American Association of School Administrators and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote a letter to FBI director James Comey saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Don’t Be A Puppet campaign and claimed it would increase distrust of Muslim and Middle Eastern students. Critics of the website fear that the recent bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey, and stabbings at a Minnesota mall, will be used to further justify its use with young people.

The website—which walks users through various topics related to extremism and allows them to “free the puppet’ after each section—references religious and environmental extremism, white supremacy, and anarchists. It offers short explanations of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Specifically, the advocacy groups have raised concerns that the computer program can too easily be interpreted as singling out Muslims. Critics have taken issue with several of the potential signs of extremist behavior that the website warns users to report—such as “talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious” and “using code words or unusual language.”

How FBI Foiled Alleged Militia Plot to Bomb Apartment Where Muslims Lived

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI conducted an 8-month investigation into a militant group that culminated in the arrest of three men accused of conspiring to kill countless Muslim immigrants in Kansas.

A confidential source was embedded with the militia group and provided vital information to investigators about the group’s plans, WFTV reports. 

The three men are accused of planning to bomb a southwestern Kansas apartment complex, where numerous Somali immigrants lived, and stockpiling firearms, explosives and ammunitions to carry out the plot.

“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”

Charged were Curtis Allen, 49, Gavin Wright, 49, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, who were members of the Crusaders.

FBI Disagrees with Trump That Muslims Aren’t Reporting Suspicious Activity

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Responding to a question about Islamophobia during Sunday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump said Muslims must “report when they see something going on.”

“Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,” Trump said during the town hall. “And there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very different situation for our country.”

But the FBI disagree that Muslims aren’t reporting suspicious activity, the Washington Post reports. 

“They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim,” FBI Director James Comey said over the summer. “It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks.”

After the Orlando nightclub shooting, for example, an American Muslim reported that he had notified investigators about the suspect because “I wanted to do my part.”

In an essay for The Post, the Muslim American, Mohammed A. Malik, said he wanted to correct false impressions about people who share his faith.

“I am hardly the first American Muslim to report on someone; people who do that simply don’t like to announce themselves in to the media,” Malik wrote. “Trump’s assertions about our community – that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so – are tragic, ugly and wrong.”

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