According to a December 18th Times article, "[a] national coalition of Islamic organizations warned that it would cease cooperating with the F.B.I. unless the agency stopped infiltrating mosques and using 'agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youths.'"
The article went on, "There is a sense that law enforcement is viewing our communities not as partners but as objects of suspicion, said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America."
If the FBI were not doing what it is accused of, it would be derelict in its duty.
The Times reported on a "spate of recent cases" including an "alleged bomb plot by a former Manhattan coffee vendor, Najibullah Zazi, and to the shootings at Fort Hood, in Texas."
The Times also referred to "four members of a mosque in Newburgh, N.Y., [who] were charged in May with plotting to bomb two Bronx synagogues." Then there is a more recent incident involving five young Muslim Americans who are now in Pakistan. They were arrested there by Pakistani law enforcement for trying to enlist in terrorist groups, as the Times reports, "with the goal of fighting the United States."
In the Muslim community in the U.S., there are those who have demonstrated their support of terrorism directed at the U.S. warranting our security agencies taking lawful measures to infiltrate Muslim groups including mosques to ascertain whether terrorist recruiting is taking place. Law enforcement should indeed take these measures to prevent attacks on Americans here and abroad.
Some opinion makers, particularly in the U.S. civil liberties community, continue to oppose the powers given to U.S. security agencies under the Patriot Act and seek to rescind them. I think those powers are necessary for our national security.