Use of informants in Muslim-American communities sparks concern

Local Muslim leaders who head mosques say they have nothing to hide but are concerned about the FBI going after young men who might be mentally unstable or have emotional problems who can be manipulated.

In addition, critics accuse the FBI of pressuring Muslims in the U.S. to become informants and spy on their own communities. In April, a lawsuit was filed against the FBI and other federal agencies by the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, saying that Muslim-Americans from Michigan and other states were being pressured to become informants.

In one case, a 24-year-old Yemeni-American from Dearborn, Osama Ahmed, said he was stopped and interrogated at the airport after flying back from Yemen when he was 18 and then later pressured by FBI agents to become an informant in order to get off a no-fly list. A similar lawsuit was filed this month in Texas by the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America on behalf of a Muslim immigrant, Mohamed Al Seraji, who said he was asked to spy on local Muslims in exchange for getting permission to work in the U.S.

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