FBI: Bureau of Frame-Ups, Bullying, and Intimidation
by William Norman Grigg
“We’re going to make this much more difficult for you if you don’t cooperate.”
This stereotypically thuggish threat issued from a stereotypical thug named Vincent, an FBI agent who was among a half-dozen Feds and local police who descended on the Santa Clara home of 20-year-old Yasir Afifi earlier this month. A few days before that visit, Afifi had discovered a government-issue GPS tracking device attached to his car during an oil change.
A few days later, one of Afifi’s friends posted a photo of the unit (an Orion Guardian ST820 tracking device, which is sold exclusively to law enforcement agencies) to an on-line file-sharing site. This sent the Stasi scurrying to Afifi’s home to reclaim the surveillance gear it had surreptitiously planted on his car. They also took the opportunity to bully and brow-beat the college student, whom they had pestered several months before following an anonymous tip that the natural-born U.S. citizen was a “threat to national security.”
During the earlier visit Afifi stiff-armed the Bureau of Frame-ups, Bullying and Intimidation, telling them he would answer their questions if his attorney approved. The Feds appeared to lose interest in Afifi after his attorney contacted the Bureau. In fact, they were continuing to keep him and his friends under surveillance: Not only did they secretly place a tracking device on Afifi’s car, they also kept track of his travel plans, his employment status, and even shadowed him when he took his girlfriend out on dinner dates.
During their visit to reclaim their snooping device, the Feds seemed determined to wring from Afifi some kind of damaging statement about his friend Khaled, who had posted the photo of the GPS tracker. One of the interrogators produced a printout of a blog post written by Khaled that ” had something to do with a mall or a bomb,” Afifi related to Wired News. He was also told that the FBI had stationed other agents outside Khaled’s house, a statement Afifi described as “weird…. I didn’t really believe anything they were saying.”