Groups Complain About FBI Questioning Muslims About Terror Before Election

CHERYL HATCH

FBI agents spoke with Muslims in eight states ahead of the election about whether they knew anything about a potential pre-election terror plot, The Washington Post reported.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, FBI agents asked Muslims they spoke with eight questions about al-Qaeda in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

Hassan Shibly, a lawyer and the executive director of CAIR Florida, told the Post that individuals were asked "whether they knew the al-Qaeda leaders killed in U.S. military airstrikes last month, who U.S. officials believe were connected to the alleged plot, and whether they knew of anyone who wished to cause harm to Americans at home or abroad."

Shibly told the post that doctors and a youth faith leader were amongst those questioned in Florida adding that none of those questioned were "suspected of terrorist activity or under investigation by the FBI," according to the Post.

CAIR said individuals in eight states including Florida and Pennsylvania – both considered important to the presidential election Tuesday– were contacted.

“The FBI actions . . . to conduct a sweep of American Muslim leaders the weekend before the election is completely outrageous and . . . borderline unconstitutional,” Shibly said, according to the Washington Post. “That’s the equivalent of the FBI visiting churchgoing Christians because someone overseas was threatening to blow up an abortion clinic. It’s that preposterous and outrageous.”

The FBI has offered warnings to authorities in Texas, Virginia and New York to be vigilant after it received a vague threat. Last week, the FBI said it was still investigating whether that threat was credible.

The Dallas Morning News also reported that "North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations [had] received reports that Muslims from Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida and Texas were questioned by FBI agents, according to Alia Salem, the group's director."

Salem posted a video over the weekend informing Muslim Americans of their rights if the FBI wanted to interview them.

The FBI did not comment on the Dallas Morning News or the Washington Post's stories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK