‘FBI tracking, questioning Muslims in US after Israeli attack on Gaza’


  • অনলাইন ডেস্ক
  • ০৮ জুলাই ২০২৪, ০০:৫৫

By Enes Taha Ersen

ISTANBUL (AA) - Muslims in the US were subjected to intense scrutiny and follow-up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) amid recent Israeli attacks on Palestine, a lawyer at the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the US said.

Muslims in the US have been followed by the FBI for many years, but complaints have increased after Israeli attacks on Gaza on Oct. 7, Dina Chehata, civil rights managing attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles office, told Anadolu.

“CAIR's Los Angeles office has received numerous complaints from members of the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities in Southern California,” Chehata said.

“After the Israeli war, we recently received complaints that FBI agents contacted our community members directly, either by phone or by going to their homes, to question them. We consider this to be FBI surveillance and interrogation of our community,” she said.

“There have been complaints that federal and local law enforcement have asked community members whether they support Hamas, whether they support the use of violence in the war region, and their views on Israel and Hamas,” Chehata noted.

“We believe that many people in our community are being watched and surveilled by the FBI. We also know that the FBI is tracking many people who are not reported directly to us. Therefore, we know that the numbers in the reports we received do not represent the number of people the FBI agents were actually tracking; many more people were investigated,” according to Chehata.


- Muslim community warned to be vigilant

“We have issued a warning to our community to be vigilant as we have noticed several consecutive reports of agents interrogating Palestinians over the past week or two,” she added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since a cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023, which killed nearly 1,200 people.

More than 31,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in the enclave, and over 73,700 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60%of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide, and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.