Militarists and war profiteers are our greatest enemy. They use fear, bolstered by racism, as a tool in their efforts to abolish civil liberties, crush dissent and ultimately extinguish democracy.
The permanent war economy is sustained through fearmongering—about communists during the Cold War and about Islamic jihadists today. Such fearmongering is used not only to justify crippling military expenditures but to crush internal dissent.
—Chris Hedges The Real Enemy is Within
With the presentation of closing arguments from both the defense and prosecution in the case against Guled Omar, Abdirahman Daud, and Mohamed Farah, three young Somali men entrapped by the FBI, the Coalition to Defend the Muslim Community called for a 5pm rally outside the federal courthouse. The rally’s aim is to support the three men’s families who continue to be outspoken in the face of government repression, amplify voices against FBI entrapment and the targeting of Muslim youth under the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program, expose how this case fuels criminalization of the Somali community as a whole, and denounce US policies of war that continue to foment conflict in the Middle East and East Africa.
Late last week, defendant Guled Omar took the stand, sharing his life story and remaining strong and principled despite dirty tactics from Federal Prosecutor Winter. He talked about his family’s journey to the United States after fleeing the civil war in Somalia and living in a Kenyan refugee camp. A Minneapolis resident since age two, Omar described his love for sports, hip hop music, spending time on social media and socializing with friends.
Omar talked about his concern for innocent Syrian people being victimized in the conflict stemming from his own family’s experience fleeing war. He described increasing levels of surveillance and intimidation throughout the timeline of the conspiracy, sharing how he felt criminalized despite knowing he had done nothing wrong. He talked about youthful boasting being part of a persona he built among friends, but described how no concrete action was planned until informant Bashir pressured his former friends into an FBI manufactured fake passport scheme.
During the prosecution’s cross examination, it became clear that portions of allegedly incriminating audio did not match the transcript prepared with the aid of informant Bashir. The government has also sought to use the transcript of secretly recorded conversations out of context, making false connections to incriminate these young men.
Tuesday’s rally featured speeches from family members, community members from the anti-war movement and movement against police killings, and members of the local Somali community. Speakers shared hopes for a just outcome as the jury begins to deliberate and the fear-based climate of racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia this case continues to fuel. One theme expected to arise from speakers is how the US government funds the criminalization of oppressed communities, while neglecting basic needs and community programs unless divide and conquer tactics can be covertly used. Speakers will attest to the central role FBI entrapment plays in such criminalization.
The Coalition to Defend the Muslim Community includes both community groups and organizations, namely the Anti-War Committee, Minnesotans against Islamophobia, the Global Somali Diaspora, among others. For more information on the case, please follow twitter handle @MnEntrappdYouth.
The Anti-War Committee is a Twin Cities-based (Minneapolis/St. Paul) organization. “The Anti-War Committee works against direct US intervention around the world, including the inhumane use of drones to terrorize civilian populations. Our work to resist political repression began when the FBI raided our office and the homes of many of our members and friends in September 2010.”
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Post-Verdict Press Conference for Entrapped Somali 3 June 1 – June 3
BREAKING FRIDAY JUNE 3: Verdict coming in at 1:30 today – 15th floor, Mpls Fed Court Bldg. #MNforSomali3 #FBIentrapment @AntiwarMN
All 3 found guilty on all counts- conspiracy murder. Conspiracy material supt, attemptd material supt… except Daud not guilty of perjury
Join us for a press conference immediately after the jury returns a verdict in the case against three young Somali men entrapped by the FBI. We are expecting this to happen anytime on Thursday or Friday of this week. Follow twitter handle @MnEntrappdYouth for updates, and we will post as soon as we know about time on this event page.
Guled Omar, Abdirahman Daud, and Mohamed Farah are beloved sons, students, and breadwinners, now facing poential life sentences for a case manufactured by an informant who was paid $100k. This case is part of an ongoing organized attack against East African and Muslim communities facing rising levels of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and government repression. The Dept of Justice and FBI push entrapment, surveillance, and terror baiting of the Somali community to further their agenda.
Follow twitter handles @MnEntrappdYouth and @AntiWarMN for updates on the trial. #MNforSomali3 #StopFBIEntrapment
Photos are by the Anti-War Committee.