Friday, November 09, 2007

Connaissez Vos Terroiristes!

Apparently, because I like a little cardamom in my coffee from time to time, the FBI thought [briefly] that it might want to get to know me better.
FBI Hoped to Follow Falafel Trail to Iranian Terrorists Here
By Jeff Stein, CQ National Security Editor

Like Hansel and Gretel hoping to follow their bread crumbs out of the forest, the FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian terrorists.

The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area.

The brainchild of top FBI counterterrorism officials Phil Mudd and Willie T. Hulon, according to well-informed sources, the project didn’t last long. It was torpedoed by the head of the FBI’s criminal investigations division, Michael A. Mason, who argued that putting somebody on a terrorist list for what they ate was ridiculous — and possibly illegal.
He said, as if putting somebody on a terrorist list for ridiculous and illegal reasons is something the United States of America would never, ever do.

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