KPCC News In Brief

Islamic group says FBI informant instigated rather than informed

The head of a Southern California Muslim group says he and other Muslims feel betrayed by allegations that the FBI used an informant to infiltrate Southern California mosques. Craig Monteilh claims the FBI paid him to identify and thwart terrorist operations in the Orange County Islamic community.

Hussam Ayloush is executive director of the Greater L.A. Council on American-Islamic Relations. He told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that Monteilh was more instigator than informant.

Hussam Ayloush: “At a same time when we’re promoting a partnership – with our law enforcement – for the sake for national security, our FBI were hiring shady characters and individuals to try to instigate against the Muslim community.

“And instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community. We feel very betrayed by this very unprofessional behavior.”

Ayloush notes that Monteilh had been convicted of grand theft and forgery in the past. Monteilh claims he was gathering information on Ahmadullah Niazi.

He’s an Afghan national who authorities arrested last week on charges of lying on documents about his alleged connections to terrorist groups. Niazi denies the charges. The FBI has not confirmed Monteih’s claims.

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February 2009

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