The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Striker Archive
Lawsuit: FBI Thugs Used Surveillance Tools to Subject An Innocent Man and His Family to Years of Harassment, Threats and Intimidation
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The Michigan ACLU filed a civil rights complaint today on behalf of a Lebanese-American family man who, in spite of not being suspected of any wrongdoing, was subjected to years of sustained abuse at the hands of the FBI.

In Chebli v. Kable, et al, Ahmad Chebli is suing Charles Kable of the Terrorist Screening Center, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Alejandro Mayourkas of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA’s David Pekoske for violating his Fifth and First Amendment rights, along with his right to religious liberty. The plaintiffs allege that the US surveillance apparatus was utilized to threaten Chebli’s family and put him on the No Fly List.

The facts in the case paint a picture of an FBI and DHS that operate in ruthless and unhinged ways against US citizens who are neither charged nor suspected of being criminals. The goal is not even to investigate “terrorism,” but to blackmail and intimidate ordinary people into entrapping people in their community to build political narratives.

Under the guise of “counter-terrorism,” federal agents use a number of unconstitutional tools to punish individuals whose political beliefs they disagree with, or when they see fit, to compel them to become assets. To this day, there is no evidence the DHS or its the FBI’s Patriot Act powers have ever succeeded in thwarting an authentic terror plot.

Chebli’s First Encounter

According to the facts in the case, Chebli is a 32-year-old American citizen of Lebanese ancestry who is a father and husband.

Chebli, a small business owner, had for years traveled back and forth to Lebanon to visit family members without incident.

He first began encountering harassment in 2015, when during a flight back to the United States from Lebanon he received an “SSSS” on his plane ticket. SSSS stands for secondary security screening selection, which is usually a sign an individual has been placed by the FBI on the terrorist watch list.

When “selectees” travel internationally, they are detained by Customs and Border Patrol at the airport and interrogated. During this instance, Chebli was interrogated about his political beliefs and Lebanese issues by the CBP but then released without incident.

Chebli grew accustomed to the invasive searches whenever he traveled and simply chalked it up to a nuisance caused by misidentification.

FBI Thuggery

In 2018, the annoyance evolved into serious harassment.

Chebli received a mysterious call from a man pretending to be a building permit inspector for one of his business. Chebli went to City Hall to clear up the issue, only to find out that the call was made by FBI agents who dragged him into a private room.

The agents told Chebli that he did not have to agree to the interview, but closed the door behind him as an intimidation tactic.

During the discussion, FBI agents told Chebli that they wanted him to become an agent provocateur in the Lebanese-American community, citing his supposed engineering abilities and fluent proficiency in the language. The Muslim terrorist threat in the United States does not come from Hezbollah or the Lebanese, but rather from groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda which Hezbollah has been leading the fight against. The Israel lobby is eager to change that and they may believe entrapping people in “Hezbollah” plots could help build public interest and animosity against the group.

Chebli did not want to become a tool for demonizing his people and told the agents that he was too busy with his work and family to participate in their operation.

The agents, who warned Chebli not to record them, then began accusing Chebli of being an “agent of Hezbollah” and demanded that he admit to it under penalty of law. Chebli continued to deny that he had any contact with the Lebanese political party.

The FBI then told him that the only way to make their “suspicions” of him being in Hezbollah “go away” was to work for them as an informant. When Chebli once again said no, they began to threaten him with deporting his wife and taking his children away. They then proceeded to tell the US citizen that if he didn’t comply with their demands, he should get out of America.

Serial Killer Behavior and The No Fly List

Chebli agreed to meet with the agents numerous other times in hopes of clearing his name and showing that he was not a terrorist or a Hezbollah agent. When he realized they weren’t interested in his innocence, he heeded the government’s threats and decided to move his wife and children to Lebanon in hopes of keeping them safe.

The menacing only continued. When he applied for a passport for his infant son to fly, two FBI agents dropped in on his family at the Detroit passport office, urging him to attend their next meeting.

Going one step further, in September of 2018 he drove his wife and children to the airport. After dropping them off, he received a creepy and unsolicited serial killer style phone call from an FBI agent, who said that he was at the airport to “make sure” his wife would be able to get through security without much hassle. This was naturally construed as a threat.

Four FBI agents, only identified by their first names, continued a sustained campaign of harassment and mental torture against Chebli, demanding at every meeting that he either work for them or leave America.

Chebli later flew to Lebanon to see his family, and the FBI’s demand that he leave finally started to make sense.

When after a month, Chebli attempted to board a flight back to the United States to tend to his business, staff at the airport dropped a bombshell: he was no longer allowed to fly.

The US embassy was unhelpful, instead telling him to lodge a complaint with the DHS’ “TRIP Redress,” an utterly useless complaint box for people confused about being randomly put on watch lists or No Fly Lists without an explanation.

It took a month to get a response from the DHS, who simply told him that he was on the No Fly List and had no way to travel back to the country he was a citizen of.

It was only after contacting the ACLU that Chebli was able to obtain a one time flight waiver to get home to Detroit.

The FBI and DHS’ Infantile Behavior

The most important aspect of the story is how the government appears to be self-aware that their “watch lists” are illegal, shameful and unethical.

Only after obtaining high powered counsel did the DHS bother to respond to Chebli’s inquiries for more information. In 2019, the DHS told the man that they had sent him a letter explaining why he was on the No Fly List, but that it was undeliverable because he didn’t give a correct address– a likely lie. When he emailed them his address again, the DHS never responded.

In October 2020, Chebli tried to fly to New York City domestically, only to be bullied all over again.

FBI agents cornered him at LaGuardia airport and took him to a private lounge. After learning his rights from the ACLU, he told the agents his travel plans but refused to answer any of their other questions.

An FBI agent named “Tony” and his supervisor retaliated by threatening his children, a pressure point the cowards struck in every interaction. When he asked them why they were so obsessed with his children, the FBI agents named another Lebanese man he did not know, and said “He has two daughters similar in age to your kids and they’re safe right now because he chose to cooperate with us.”

While having no right to detain him, the agents refused to answer if he was free to leave until he called his ACLU lawyer, who they acquiesced to.

During his last attempt to fly to Lebanon for holidays, Chebli was once again denied boarding. His Constitutional right to travel for family, leisure, business or religious reasons was being denied and no reason was being given.

The ACLU’s lawsuit solidly demonstrates the myriad of ways the FBI terrorist watch list and No Fly List violate the rights of US citizens, and how these tools are used to torment people rather than engage in legitimate law enforcement or protect national security interests.

There is no recent data on how many people have been put on these lists, but estimates range in the millions, including many thousands. Unlike the Chinese social credit system, Washington’s “blacklists” do not even tell an individual who is not charged or even being investigated for a crime why his liberties are being suddenly curtailed.

As the US government prepares to load up these oppressive lists with ordinary Trump supporters, it is vital to put aside all differences and support this lawsuit’s mission of creating meaningful redress, due process, or better yet, abolishing the ridiculous list altogether.

(Republished from National Justice by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Civil Liberties, FBI, Terrorism 
Hide 17 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Good article. I’ll probably link to it.

  2. Lot says:

    Striker again shows the end game of antisemites: siding with Islamic migrants and the ACLU over patriotic real American Law Enforcement Officers.

    Little does he realize the ACLU and Islamics hate him and care nothing about his rights.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Borzoi
    , @James Forrestal
  3. There is no recent data on how many people have been put on these lists, but estimates range in the millions, including many thousands.

    Indeed, by definition every million contains a thousand thousands. Had to be said.

    Having got that out of the way…

    As the US government prepares to load up these oppressive lists with ordinary Trump supporters, it is vital to put aside all differences and support this lawsuit’s mission of creating meaningful redress, due process, or better yet, abolishing the ridiculous list altogether.

    How about going a step further, a logical and necessary step if Americans value their Republic and their freedom, and abolish the frigging FBI and the DHS along with it?

    The Third Reich had the Gestapo, East Germany had the STASI, the USSR had the KGB and now the USA has the FBI and its subsidiary DHS. Don’t kid yourselves, people, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it will stay unless you change it.

  4. fnn says:

    One of many FBI accounts:

  5. anon[940] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot

    No,No.Thats not the case.This is what is happening .

    Anyway you dig the news ,you get

    these informations
    1:Netanyahu: Iran Deal Threatens Israel ‘With Annihilation’

    2Israel Slams Biden’s Resumption of Funding for Palestinians

    3Israel OKs Building Settlement Units First Time During Biden Admin.

    4 Israeli Warplanes Attack Syrian Capital

    5Quizzed on Iran Ship Blast, Gantz Says Israel Acts ‘Wherever There’s a Need’

    6 Sheikh Jarrah District and the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem

    7 Palestinian Mayor of Sebastia Assaulted by Jewish Settlers While Saving Child

    8Palestinian Elderly Woman Dies After Being Hit by Jewish Settler Near Hebron

    9 Israeli Soldiers Attack Funeral Procession of Slain Palestinian Man”

    within last 72 hours .

    It is time to do same on Israel what Israel is doing anytime on any given day .

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  6. Kafka-esque is an understatement. The US executive is functionally “evil”.

  7. He’s a Lebanese Randy Weaver.

    They tried to entrap Weaver into being their stooge, and when he wouldn’t cooperate, they decided to assassinate him to cover up their malfeasance.

    The botched operation which ended at Ruby Ridge is a lesson in how Secret Police are a threat to a free society.

  8. This reminds me of that recent sting where the fbi supposedly got two white young Midwestern men to involve themselves in some made up plot to supply weapons or something to hezbollah. It was the most bizarre charge one can imagine to be leveled against middle American white people. Something totally made up and improbable. Clearly, it was propagandistic to create the idea that hezbollah is some sort of threat to the US. I can’t believe how subverted these organizations(the fbi but presumably also all the others) are to foreign powers. I doubt they engage in any legitimate law enforcement anymore, but rather create propaganda against the enemies of said foreign powers and persecute white proles.

  9. Borzoi says:
    @Lot

    Okay, Jew or Jew-Lover (don’t really care which)

  10. Interesting story about the quality of the FBI. Back in the early 1980s a prominent attorney practicing in Western, NY was retained by labor union Local 210. He was very successful defending members against organized crime complaints; specifically RICO. So successful was he that the FBI turned to the IRS for help. In an attempt to have the lawyer disbarred the IRS filed charges of tax evasion. Until that time said attorney had never bothered with tax cases, and had never defended in such cases. After he won his acquittal he turned his attention to the IRS and began defending tax cases, and at the time I met Harold he was batting 1000. He was 9 – 0 in tax court. He always referred to the federal agents as dumb, and stupid. After watching him in Federal court I had to agree with him. The feds have all the resources, all the money and equipment, but they are greedy and full of hubris. Because of this they lack the moral high ground, and in front of a jury, a sharp attorney will always expose them for what they are.

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
  11. anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:

    They never uncover any terrorist plots. They create fictitious ones using blackmailed provocateurs and the fall guys are usually very young or mentally slow types. People are goaded into saying extreme things then guided into traps set by them. Lives are ruined in the process of some agents getting a promotion. All the propaganda we heard over the years regarding the KGB and Stasi is true about our own domestic security agencies. The finger was pointing outward when it should have been pointed inward.

    • Agree: Orville H. Larson
    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  12. @the grand wazoo

    That sounds a lot like what they did with Trafficant, the pro Palestinian rep or whatever they went after. From my understanding, they tried to get him on bribery or whatever but were unable to convict. Instead the irs got him on tax evasion for not paying tax on the “bribe” that he “proved” was not real in the criminal case. Alphabet agencies work in tandem to take down people for political causes.

  13. The concept of a no fly list shouldn’t exist. If the gov’t has a charge to make against a person, then make it.

    We’re now going to get a no vaccine no fly list.

    Down the road, maybe they’ll get an Unz.com commenter no fly list.

    • Agree: Getaclue
    • Replies: @Realist
  14. @anonymous

    The Federal Bullshitters of Investigation is a corrupted, power-mad, and self-aggrandizing agency.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  15. @Lot

    Lot again shows the end game of semitic supremacists — spewing virulent, unreasoning hatred toward ALL goyim.

    Little does he realize that the goyim no longer believe his long-debunked semitic canards.

  16. Filed under “Why We Hack“.

    Hack it all. Tear it down. (In the media any data breach will be attributed to ‘nation-state actors‘ anyhow).

    .gov data repositories are – almost without exception – unbelievably badly-secured: along with the fact that anyone who survives their first hitch in an alphabet-soup security-theatre agency is second-rate at best, the hubris generated by a sense of impunity and entitlement results in all manner of corner-cutting in datasec.

    These are people who think that their grifts are secure because they passed a law prohibiting exposing government corruption by unauthorised access to badly-secured computer systems. That’s not even a useful substitute for hiring competent people to institute and maintain genuine data security.

    Every Little Beria should fear the night. Let them eat zolpidem.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply -


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Striker Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
Becker update V1.3.2