Relations between the FBI and Muslim and Arab-American leaders in the U.S. have reached a low point in recent months, many Muslim leaders tell the New York Times. Several high-profile cases in which informers have infiltrated mosques and helped promote plots, they say, have sown a corrosive fear among their people that FBI informers are everywhere, listening. “There is a sense that law enforcement is viewing our communities not as partners but as objects of suspicion,” said Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America. “A lot of people are really, really alarmed about this.”
A spate of recent cases – from the alleged bomb plot by a former Manhattan coffee vendor to the shootings at Fort Hood – has heightened Americans' concerns about homegrown terrorism. Muslim leaders have promised to redouble efforts to combat extremism in their ranks. Still, some Muslims have canceled trips abroad to avoid arousing suspicion. People are wary of whom they speak to. Community groups say it is harder to find volunteers. Some law enforcement experts warn of a farther-reaching consequence: the loss of a critical early-warning system against domestic terrorism.