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Tag: Muslims

Muslim Group: FBI Nominee Wray Has Troubling History with Immigrant Detainees

    FBI Director nominee Christopher WrayFBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI nominee Christoper Wray has a troubling history with mistreating immigrant detainees in the aftermath of 9/11, a Muslim civil rights group warned senators.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to grill Christopher Wray during his confirmation hearing next week, the AJC.com reports

At issue is Wray’s reported communication blackouts between hundreds of immigrant detainees and the outside world while he was serving in a high-ranking position in the Justice Department for former President George W. Bush.

According to a story in the Daily Beast, Wray directed his employee to curtail communication between the detainees and the outside world while serving as principal deputy attorney general. 

“Many of the leads that resulted in the detention of these immigrants were based on discriminatory religious and ethnic profiling and were meritless suspicion,” the group said.

Although CAIR didn’t take a public position on the nomination, the group claimed Wray’s communication blackouts were “unconstitutional.”

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Blasts His Own Justice Department Over ‘Watered Down’ Travel Ban

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump blasted his own Justice Department in a series of tweets Monday morning, saying his travel ban has been “watered down” in order pass legal muster.

Trump urged the Justice Department to seek a “much tougher version” of the executive order that he signed to block individuals from six-majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Courts have blocked two versions of his travel ban, largely because it targets a religion.

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”

Trump also lashed out at the courts, calling them “slow and political.”

The JusticeDepartment formally asked the Supreme Court last week to declare his executive order is constitutional.

The order before the Supreme Court is a narrower version of Trump’s controversial directive, which he signed during his first week in office.

Ex-FBI Agent: Charging Portland Suspect with Hate Crimes Is ‘Sticky’

Jeremy Christian

Jeremy Christian

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether federal charges are warranted in the case of the 35-year-old man who stabbed three people on a Portland train after yelling expletives at two women he believed to be Muslims.

Jeremy Christian has already been charged with aggravated murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

But feds are investigating whether Christian also committed hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

“It will take some time for a review of information and evidence along with consultation with prosecutors to determine whether federal charges will be filed,” Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI told KATU News.

But a retired FBI agent told KATU those charges may be difficult to prove.

“Hating someone is not a crime,” Greg Vecchi, a retired FBI agent with 29 years of federal investigative experience said.

“You can hate someone, a Christian, a Muslim. You can hate someone who’s black, someone who’s white,” Vecchi said. “That by itself does not trigger the hate crime. What triggers it is taking it a step further and being able to prove that because of that bias that was a motivation or part of a motivation to carry out the crime. … This is where it becomes sticky.”

Other Stories of Interest

Trump, Justice Department Pledge to Fight Orders Stopping Travel Ban

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and President Trump criticized two judges’ decisions Wednesday to halt the revised travel ban by ruling it is discriminatory against Muslims.

The Justice Department contends Trump’s executive order “falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation’s security,” the Washington Post reports. 

It’s unclear what step the government will take next.

At a rally in Nashville on Wednesday, Trump lashed out at the court decisions, saying he would take the case to the Supreme Court. He event suggested returning to his original executive order, which was a more sweeping ban.

“Let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said. “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii struck down the order on religious discrimination grounds, pointing to Trump’s statements during the campaign that he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

Border Agents Searched More Phones in February Than All of 2015

cell-phone-app-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection officers have demanded that American citizens turn over their phones and passwords in 25 cases examined by NBC News. 

The phones are being seized at the border and airports.

A New York couple said it happened to them twice while returning from a trip to Canada. Akram Shibly and his wife Kelly McCormick said Shibly was assaulted by officers to get their phone.

In February, 5,000 phones were searched, which is more than all of the phones searched in 2015. Homeland Security data show that Border Patrol agents searched nearly 25,000 phones in 2016, a five-fold increase over 2015.

NBC wrote:

The travelers came from across the nation, and were both naturalized citizens and people born and raised on American soil. They traveled by plane and by car at different times through different states. Businessmen, couples, senior citizens, and families with young kids, questioned, searched, and detained for hours when they tried to enter or leave the U.S. None were on terror watchlists. One had a speeding ticket. Some were asked about their religion and their ethnic origins, and had the validity of their U.S. citizenship questioned.

What most of them have in common — 23 of the 25 — is that they are Muslim, like Shibly, whose parents are from Syria.

ATF, FBI Investigate Suspicious Fire at Islamic Center in Michigan

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF have joined an investigation into a fire that gutted the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti in Michigan.

No one was in the building, which also includes a mosque, when the fire broke out, ClickOnDetroit.com reports

“The FBI is currently working with the Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety and the ATF to determine the cause of fire that occurred at the Islamic Community Center,” the FBI said in a statement. “If in the course of investigation, information is developed suggesting a hate crime or another federal crime, logical investigation will be conducted to identify the individual(s) responsible and authorities will coordinate with the United States Attorney’s Office to identify the best course of action towards prosecution.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement Sunday afternoon:

“We urge state and federal agencies to use their full resources to investigate this fire to determine a cause and, if it is determined to be arson, a possible motive,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “Anyone who has information about this fire, or saw anything suspicious at the time of the blaze, should immediately contact law enforcement authorities.”

Authorities said the fire appears to be suspicious.

Muslims have been the targets of hate crimes at increasing rates since Donald Trump became president.

FBI Investigating Threats Against Muslims During NC Conservative Activists Meeting

cair-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating alleged death threats against Muslims during a meeting of conservative activists in North Carolina, the Associated Press reports. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) requested a federal investigation after a speaker in Kernersville spoke about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Audio captured by alternative newspaper Triad City Beat revealed that someone at the meeting said, “Any recommendations on how we can stop this? Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out of them.”

The speaker suggested Muslims are trying to take over the U.S.

The FBI wrote in a press release: “The FBI is aware of news media stories about a recent meeting in North Carolina where comments were reportedly made against the Muslim community. We are working with our local law enforcement partners to determine if a federal violation involving threats of violence that is not speech protected under the First Amendment has occurred. The safety and security of our citizens is a priority for the FBI and we have been in contact with local community leaders to assure them we take potential threats of violence very seriously.”

DHS Secretary Says He Knew Trump’s Travel Ban ‘Was Coming’

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Security Secretary John Kelly denied reports on Tuesday that he was blind-sided by President Trump’s executive order that imposes a travel ban on seven predominately Muslim countries.

“We did know the executive order was coming,” Kelly said at a news conference, NBC News reports. “We had people involved in the general drafting of it. Clearly this whole approach was part of what then-candidate Trump talked about for a year or two. So we knew all this was coming.”

He added: “It wasn’t a surprise that it was coming.”

According to a senior administration official, Kelly was informed of the upcoming executive order before Trump’s inauguration and after his confirmation hearing.

Kelly also denied the immigration restrictions amounted to a “ban on Muslims.”

“Religious liberty is one of our most fundamental and treasured values,” he said. “This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.”