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 Twitterverse
bmaz More Indictments Expected in FIFA Case, IRS Official Says http://t.co/yLpLND1Kfs The new defendants prob. once visited the US. Close enough!
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bmaz Wow, I missed this yesterday. Very nice opinion, and congrats to @CabouJ and @PerkinsCoieLLP https://t.co/4Mq2vr5cEi
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emptywheel @KanysLupin Maybe the FBI Director will at least support encryption for jeans? @onekade
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emptywheel Thinking this story/tweet is just a test to see whether @onekade is really on vacation... https://t.co/6fLGuqdW2v
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emptywheel @BillinPortland Dunno. My historical gaydar is even more dysfunctional than my IRL one.
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emptywheel @BillinPortland Maybe safer to just assume his predecessors were just more discreet?
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emptywheel @p2wy Ah, as a childless-mostly-by-choice I forgot that part of it. Slainte. @april_anita
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emptywheel @JayCStanley Poor fearmongers. That imagery might work better here in flyover. But we don't have metros and fearful people don't ride buses
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emptywheel @p2wy How long have you guys been married again? @april_anita
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emptywheel @chinahand And American-style dick waving always works so well with Chinese officials playing a long game.
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emptywheel @KailiJoy Who's saying the opposite? They're saying the now-50+ year old kid should have sued in public?
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emptywheel @manish_vij What it does INSTEAD of saying, "FISC was wrong" is say "you need an SST to narrow bulk for this law," but doesn't say how far.
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