Recruiting Informants: Framings, Expulsion, and Torture

Between this MoJo story from last week and this Telegraph story from today, it sure looks like the US and Brits have utterly dispensed with rule of law in hopes of recruiting informants.

Last week, Nick Baumann told the story of Yonas Fikre. While visiting family in Sudan, men purporting to be FBI (remember that CIA has repeatedly lied and said they were FBI since 9/11) pushed him to become an informant. When he refused, the Agents told him he had been put on the no-fly list. He then traveled to UAE, where he was detained (reportedly at the behest of the US, torture, and interrogated–in an effort, Fikre says, to elicit a false confession.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph tells of the process depicted by more of the documents liberated in Libya (I’m still wondering when the documents explaining how Ibn Sheikh al-Libi was suicided). In violation of laws prohibiting it, MI5 not only provided information to Libyans about Libyan refugees in the country, but set up meetings to try to coerce them to become informants.  If offering them citizenship didn’t work, the story describes, then they would prosecute them for meeting with the Libyan agents whose meeting they had set up.

The minutes suggest that MI5 preferred to use the carrot, rather than the stick, in inducing the target to start giving up information about his associates: ‘We might allow him to visit his family in Libya, then return to Britain. We could offer to help clear his name with Libyan authorities. We could offer to help with citizenship or residency. This could open the door to his co-operation. We could enter his office frequently, do business with him and open the door to further conversations.’

But if that didn’t work, then they could resort to coercion: ‘Libyan operatives could ask him [the target asylum seeker] about problems at home in Libya or in Britain.
‘They offer to help in return for giving information we want

about other targets. If he refuses, British police will arrest him and accuse him of associating with Libyan secret agents. He will be told that as a non-resident of Britain he could be deported if found guilty.’

At some point this isn’t about collecting intelligence anymore (particularly in the case of Fikre’s mosque, the Imam from which the FBI has probably sent 10 informants against without ever being able to make a case against him). It’s about instilling turning Muslim men into the puppets of the governments claiming to wage counter-terrorism campaigns.

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2 Responses to Recruiting Informants: Framings, Expulsion, and Torture

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emptywheel ICE apparently asking people if their family members have been martyred for their beliefs at the border.
bmaz @albanyproject @phillipanderson Maybe, maybe not. He arguably may be the first one out with a deal.
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