Saturday, April 09, 2005

FBI Detain 2 16-year-old Girls as "suicide bombers"

(I posted this as a diary at Daily Kos early this morning...I just learned about it from The Common Ills Website...and I've been updating the diary as I learn more...if you have an account at Daily Kos please go recommend this this is unfuckingbelievable and I can't believe it's not bigger news!)

Daily Kos Diary

The Common Ills, the best blog there is on Times-related issues, just linked to a story in today's New York Times entitled "Teachers and Classmates Express Outrage at Arrest of Girl, 16, as a Terrorist Threat."

Here's the link to the Times who unfortunately force you to register before you can read NEWS.

A summary:

"[T]he girl and another 16-year-old are being called would-be suicide bombers and are being held in an immigration detention center in Pennsylvania."

"According to a government document provided to The New York Times by a federal official earlier this week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has asserted that both girls are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." No evidence was cited, and federal officials will not comment on the case."

But this should tell you something about either the phoniness of this story or the incompetence of our "fixed-up" F.B.I.:

"Among the unanswered questions they raised was why, if she was really a suspect, no F.B.I. agent had shown up to search her school locker or question her classmates, who sent her letters of support."

And why, may I ask, were these two 16-year-old girls shipped off to a facility in Pennsylvania when there's one right in Brooklyn.

Scary times we're living in, that's for sure.

Other diarists today have written about how the Bush Administration ignored offers to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq before invading and ignored offers from the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden before 9-11 (though I'd like to add that the Taliban also offered to surrender Osama after 9-11 to another country and that offer was spurned as well).

How's that anthrax investigation going, guys?


The New York Post has more on this story:



"Two teenage New York girls are in prison as illegal aliens after stumbling into a federal probe of recruiters trying to sign up homicide bombers, The Post has learned."

"The arrests took place after authorities decided it would be better to lock up the girls than wait and see if they decided to become terrorists willing to die for a cause, law-enforcement sources said."

Both girls were "under surveillance for several weeks after first becoming known to investigators."

"Both had visited an unidentified mosque where anti-American and extreme fundamentalist rhetoric had been spewed."

It also says that in a notebook one of the girls talked of suicide.

Adem Carroll, an activist with the Islamic Circle of North America: "The government, he said, "could be creating an image of a war on terror without reality."

Another story:


Two girls held in terror plot The Associated Press By Tom Hays

"The girls -- one from Bangladesh, one from Guinea -- were picked up by authorities March 24 and put in a detention center in Leesport, the officials said."

"Two law enforcement officials, both speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the case is pending, confirmed the content of the document but suggested that it may have exaggerated the threat."

"Federal immigration agents investigated her home and discovered an essay about suicide and Islam on her computer, Carroll said.

"The case seemed to be "an investigation that's gotten out of hand, like a lot of other so-called terror investigations," Carroll told the paper."

First New York Times Story also by Nina Bernstein


"A few months later, when the teenager stayed out overnight for the first time, the father, fearing an elopement, went to the police for help."

"It is a decision he regrets deeply. His daughter and another 16-year-old girl are now described by the government as would-be suicide bombers and are being held in a detention center for illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania. He is sure that his visit to the police set off the F.B.I. investigation that led to a chilling assertion, in a government document, that the girls are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." Family and friends call that absurd."

This part is very different from the aforementioned stories:

"The mother of the Bangladeshi girl, conveying her daughter's account, said the two girls met for the first time at 26 Federal Plaza after her daughter's arrest. But when the other girl, a Guinean who was facing deportation with her family, noticed her daughter's veil, she gave her a traditional Muslim greeting, and federal agents seemed to think they were friends. The second girl ended up in the Pennsylvania detention center, too."

This is fucked.

"There are no firm time limits on immigration detention, so the burden is on the girls to prove that they are not potential suicide bombers, rather than on the government to prove they are."

"Indeed, the evidence is withheld from the girls and anyone who represents them under a "protective order" that F.B.I. investigators obtained from the immigration court, according to an April 1 motion to continue the secrecy, signed by Jeffrey T. Bubier, assistant chief counsel for the Department of Homeland Security in Philadelphia."

Can it get worse?

"The Bangladeshi girl's father, who sells cheap watches wholesale and, he said, earns less than $16,000 a year, hired a New York immigration lawyer for $2,500. But the lawyer declined to attend her first hearing, according to a motion he filed seeking to handle the matter "telephonically," because of "time constraints.""

"She said she did not realize when investigators showed up at home on March 4 that they were F.B.I. agents, because they claimed they were from a youth center that helped families get along and were simply following up the father's complaint to the police. She sent the female agent upstairs to talk with her daughter. Twenty days later, immigration agents arrived at dawn and took the teenager away."


"Her daughter, she said, told her during a brief detention visit that F.B.I. interrogators had warned that unless she confessed to terrorist ties, her two youngest siblings, who are American citizens, would be placed in foster care and her parents sent back to Bangladesh without them."

BFA left this comment in my diary at Daily Kos:

for those who want to do something (none / 0)

"I suppose the girl's schools would in some measure be involved, especially Heritage HS, where the Guinean girl was a VERY POPULAR student. So I looked up these schools on Google, in case someone wants to contact them."

H.S. 680 Heritage High School - 1680 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10029 Phone: (212)828-2858 Fax: (212)828-2861 Principal: Dr Peter Dillon Parent Coordinator: Dilcia Medina (phone: (347)563-5184)Pres. of parent-teacher association: Deleen P. Carr (interviewed in NYT)Heritage School - (They have an on-line form for sending e-mail under Contact)

H.S. 400 High School for Environmental Studies - 444 West 56th St. New York NY 10019 - Phone: (212)262-8113 - Fax: (212)262-0702 - Principal: Ms Shirley Matthews - Parent Coordinator: Karen Hundley ((347)-563-5130)

"I know the girl from Bangladesh left her high school, but there is still a slim chance that she has stayed in touch with them. Also, one of the articles mentions a spokesman for one of the families --- that's where Bernstein could be an intermediary, I guess. B.t.w., the Heritage School has a NYTimes scholarship, so I suppose there are some ties between the school and the newspaper."

"May this be of help to anyone who wants to look into this matter!"


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