Since 2009, paid FBI informants have played a central role in nearly 50% of all domestic terrorism cases. Informants, who can earn up to $100,000 per case, are instructed to build relationships with persons of interest in the Muslim community. Informants then use a mixture of conversation, persuasion, and coercion to determine if these individuals, when given the plot, means, and opportunity, will then participate in terrorist activity.
Despite the fact that white supremacists and violent right-wingers have been responsible for nearly twice as many terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11 as Islamic extremists, the FBI’s terror stings have focused almost exclusively on Muslims. As a response of this targeting, parents have told their children not to dress “too Muslim”. Muslim Student groups have posted signs in their college club rooms advising members to “please refrain from political conversations.”
And now, there are new reports the FBI is “monitoring” Black Lives Matter activists in a similar way to how it treats persons of interest in the Muslim community. It’s a troubling pattern and it’s being done at taxpayers’ expense under the illusion of safety and national security.
The FBI’s efforts to map the Black Lives Matters movement, just as the NYPD mapped the homes, businesses, and places of worship of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim civilians, has chilling implications, and endangers one of America’s most valuable national resources – the voice of the people.
Acts of Terrorism have attempted to paralyze our world and the way we navigate throughout it. First with 9/11 and most recently in San Bernardino and Paris, France. It’s a war on the human race. A war we are fighting desperately to stay ahead of and win.
Earlier in 2015, the Sundance Film Festival awarded (T)error the Special Jury Prize for Breakout First Feature and the timing couldn’t be better.
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a counterterrorism informant for more than two decades, takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI and invites filmmakers to follow his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist – without informing his superiors.
As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres’ past, but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, (T)ERROR explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there.
What makes (T)error fascinating is that we learn a lot about how “cells” are drawn out, discovered and taken down. In addition, being an informant is a lonely life. The people lose their family life, social life and give up any sense of normality all in an effort for a few bucks to keep our country safe. Makes you wonder if the price tag is a little hefty for the the dividends that are returned.