Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has used informants successfully as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States, reports the Washington Post. Agency officials say they are careful not to violate civil liberties and do not target Muslims. But the FBI’s approach has come under fire from some Muslims, criticism that surfaced again late last month after agents arrested an Oregon man they said tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. FBI technicians had supplied the device.
Some Muslims in Southern California and nationally say the cascading revelations have seriously damaged their relationship with the FBI, a partnership that both sides agree is critical to preventing attacks and homegrown terrorism. Many leading national Muslim organizations have virtually suspended contact with the bureau. “The community feels betrayed,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an umbrella group of more than 75 mosques.