A former FBI informant, who was tasked with secretly infiltrating southern California mosques, admits in many cases civil rights groups are correct in their concern that Muslims are being unfairly targeted. He told The Guardian “the way the FBI conducts their operations it is all about the entrapment.”
“I know the game, I know the dynamics of it,” said Craig Monteilh, a 49-year-old who became an undercover spy after meeting off-duty cops at a gym. “It’s such a joke, a real joke. There is no real hunt. It’s fixed.”
The details are all a part of an excellent piece of journalism by Paul Harris of The Guardian, where he covers Monteilh’s history as an informant for the FBI. As Harris writes, much of what Monteilh did “sounds like something out of a pulp thriller.”
Under the supervision of two FBI agents the muscle-bound fitness instructor created a fictitious French-Syrian altar ego, called Farouk Aziz. In this disguise in 2006 Monteilh started hanging around mosques in Orange County – the long stretch of suburbia south of LA – and pretended to convert to Islam.
He was tasked with befriending Muslims and blanket recording their conversations. All this information was then fed back to the FBI who told Monteilh to act like a radical himself to lure out Islamist sympathizers.
Yet, far from succeeding, Monteilh eventually so unnerved Orange County’s Muslim community that that they got a restraining order against him. In an ironic twist, they also reported Monteilh to the FBI: unaware he was in fact working undercover for the agency
Monteilh was granted permission by his “FBI handlers” to “have sex with the Muslim women his undercover operation was targeting.” He was told if it “would enhance the intelligence, go ahead and have sex.” He did and would record “pillow talk” that could be used to target individuals.
As an informant, he would talk about having “access to weapons” and try to trap people into making incriminating statements about “jihad.”
This does not mean, of course, that there are no militant Muslims in American mosques, but it does mean—if it is true—that some of them are being manufactured or instigated by our own guys, and through immoral means.