Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Suit accuses FBI of spying at California mosques

By
February 25, 2011 |

By Jennifer Medina

At the Islamic Center of Irvine, some members look at each new person who walks into the Los Angeles area mosque with suspicion. They worry that their conversations are being recorded or that law enforcement officers are watching, simply because they are Muslim.

The fears were stoked by charges that the FBI paid an informant to infiltrate their mosque and others in Southern California, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations say in the suit that the informant, Craig Monteilh, violated members’ civil rights and subjected them to “indiscriminate surveillance” because of their religion.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that the case represents just one of countless complaints they hear from Muslims in Southern California, who say they are routinely singled out for questioning. They hope the case will encourage other Muslims who believe they have been unfairly monitored to come forward.

“We hear about this kind of targeting by the FBI without basis again and again from all over,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, the deputy director and staff attorney for CAIR Los Angeles. “This is the perfect test case because we have evidence that there was surveillance.”

FBI officials said they could not comment on the lawsuit, but said they base any investigation on allegations of criminal activity. They said they did not single out specific religious or ethnic groups.

Monteilh, who has a criminal history that includes forgery, has said publicly that the FBI told him to monitor several mosques in Orange County in 2006 and 2007, using a hidden camera and tape recorder. After he began to talk at the mosque about jihad and violence, members contacted the FBI. He ultimately helped the bureau build a case against one member of the mosque, but it was dismissed.

The suit also charges that FBI agents “explicitly told Monteilh that Islam was a threat to America’s national security.”

Monteilh has also sued the FBI, saying that it failed to protect him from charges of grand theft that he says were related to his work in a drug-ring operation. The class-action lawsuit seeks a court order for the FBI to destroy or return the information Monteilh obtained.

Comments

comments

New York Times News Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8