Beware this man. If you ever see him in your community, no matter what faith you are or are not, don’t call the authorities, don’t take any action, simply ignore him. Don’t talk to him, don’t give him your phone number, don’t let him into your home.
I tweeted once earlier that black teens and Muslims cannot run away from trouble…it always seems to follow them. This latest story is an excellent case in point. A Muslim American is approached by someone (because we don’t the identity of the man pictured left we can only provide this photo of him) who he correctly identifies as an agent provocateur and verifies that after finding his picture on the net and reading about his history that includes a murder charge. In fear of his life Khalifah al-Akili calls the FBI to report this person’s presence in the community only to find himself arrested and his reputation maligned and his name associated with the Taliban.
Khalifah Al-Akili, 34, who lives near Pittsburgh, told the Times Union in an interview Sunday that the FBI recently used Shahed Hussain — an informant who was integral in two terrorism-related cases in the upstate New York cities — in an apparent attempt to test Al-Akili’s interest in jihad and anti-American views.
Al-Akili said he was approached by Hussain, who went by the name “Mohammed,” and another man, who used the name “Shareef,” in January when they turned up in his neighborhood and repeatedly made attempts to get close to Al-Akili. But Al-Akili said he quickly figured out Hussain’s identity as an FBI informant. He said the men were “too obvious” and requested receipts even for small items they purchased like coffee and donuts.
Al-Akili said Shareef also asked Al-Akili repeatedly if he could help him purchase a gun. Al-Akili said he told the man he could not help him.
Al-Akili said his suspicions the men were informants were confirmed when he saw a photograph of Hussain on the Internet. In addition, he said, a cell phone number Hussain had given him was the same number used by Hussain during a 2009 counterterrorism investigation against four Newburgh men in the small Orange County city. Al-Akili said he found the number and its connection to that case through a simple Internet search using Google.
What happens next is standard FBI fare.
Al-Akili was arrested during an FBI raid of his home in Wilkinsburg, a Pittsburgh borough. He was charged in a federal complaint with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The complaint filed in U.S. District Court said federal agents obtained an email with a 7-second video showing Al-Akili firing a .22-caliber rifle at a shooting range in 2010. Federal agents said Al-Akili was prohibited from possessing a gun because of a 2001 drug conviction.
No terrorism-related charges were filed against him. But at a detention hearing Friday, an FBI agent, Joseph M. Bieshelt, testified the search of Al-Akili’s home uncovered “jihadist literature and books on U.S. military tactics,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. The newspaper also reported Bieshelt testified at the hearing that Al-Akili told an informant he had plans to go to Pakistan to join the Taliban, and that Al-Akili was recorded in December saying “that he was developing somebody to possibly strap a bomb on himself.” A federal magistrate judge ordered Al-Akili held without bail pending trial.
The FBI’s classic entrapment strategy failed when their operative was exposed, due in large part to the Bureau’s own incompetence, leaving them no other alternative but to charge al-Akili with a weapons charge ( they couldn’t do better than a .22 caliber rifle at a firing range) which they linked to incendiary language that got a judge to keep him in jail without bond until his court date. And while it might be too much to hope for, the recent ruling by a federal judge that language alone is not sufficient to prove sedition or violence against the government in the absence of any concrete action to convict someone might be extended to al-Akili’s case does offer some hope for an American Muslim who says he would never do anything to hurt/harm his country.
The FBI got caught with their pants down; their methods were sloppy but in today’s America sufficient enough to convict others which is why they were resorted to again. Al-Akili’s citizenship is to be applauded….in essence he was a whistle blower pointing to the inefficient and costly workings of bureaucracy, and like most whistle blowers before, he was made to bear the brunt of a humiliated agency out for revenge. That anyone can be locked up for shooting a.22 caliber rifle at a firing range…….there is no proof he owned the weapon, nor were any weapons found in his home, nor was he accused of buying and selling weapons( in fact he rebuffed the FBI informant’s attempt to even find him one) and the only basis for his incarceration besides such flimsy accusations is his religious identity is not only criminal, appalling but certainly unconstitutional. It is a sign of today’s America and it must be changed and abandoned forever. Wake up America…if today it’s al-Akili, who will it be tomorrow?
- The ex-FBI informant with a change of heart: ‘There is no real hunt. It’s fixed’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Critical charges dropped against Michigan militia (kansascity.com)