Muslim Community Spying - Oregon
|Submitted||Feb. 25, 2023|
|Due||March 24, 2023|
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From: Justin Acta
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
The Government Spying Transparency Project (GSTP) submit this expedited Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") request for records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI') pertaining to the investigation and surveillance of Muslim communities in Oregon. The GSTP submit this request pursuant to the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552, implementing regulations 8 C.F.R. § 103.10 and 6 C.F.R. § 5 and any other applicable regulations.
Community members, civil rights organizations, and mainstream media have reported that the FBI is surveilling and infiltrating Muslim American communities and building a dragnet that is detrimentally affecting the lives of innocent Americans. We have seen FBI spying exposed in communities in Northern California, New York and Minnesota. Muslims in Oregon routinely report being harassed and followed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We’ve seen the leaks of former FBI Agent Terry Albury who exposed wide-spread unwarranted and unconstitutional surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation across the country and a culture of Islamophobia within the bureau. Former FBI Agent Terry Albury said the Federal Bureau of Investigation routinely targeted innocent and vulnerable Muslim Americans and said the Federal Bureau of Investigation ruined lives.
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION:
We are seeking disclosure of agency records in your possession that fall within the following areas:
(1) Individual records related to FBI activities in Oregon from September 11, 2001, to the present pertaining to:
a. FBI investigations and assessments of mosques; Islamic centers; Muslim community centers; Muslim organizations; members of mosques, Islamic centers, or Muslim community centers based on their membership or affiliation with such centers; Muslim leaders; and imams;
b. Domain management, including but not limited to maps or other records relating to or describing "domains;" and records of"concentrated ethnic communities," "ethnic-oriented businesses or nonprofits" and any other records related to "community race and ethnicity" analyses or assessments in the FBI "domains" of Oregon.
REQUEST FOR EXPEDITED PROCESSING.
Title 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(E) provides for expedited processing of requests for information in cases in which the person requesting the records demonstrates a compelling need. By statute, for requests made by persons primarily engaged in disseminating information, urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged federal government activity constitutes a "compelling need."§ 552(a)(6)(E)(v)(Il). In addition, Department of Justice regulations states that FOIA requests are entitled to expedited processing when the information requested involves "(a] matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence." 28 C.F.R. § 16.S(d)(l)(iv). Here, the requesters of this information are primarily engaged in disseminating information and, for reasons made clear below, there is an urgency to inform the public concerning federal government activity in connection with the FBl's investigation of Muslim communities.8 FBI activities that the instant FOIA request is intended to reveal have been widely reported, caused widespread anxiety, and raised widespread concerns about the federal government's misconduct, including racial and religious profiling and violations of the constitutional rights of United States residents, both aliens and citizens.
REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF PROCESSING FEES UNDER FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT BECAUSE DISCLOSURE OF THE REQUESTED INFORMATION IS IN Tl-IE PUBLIC INTEREST.
We also request a fee waiver for duplication costs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(ii)(ll)-(iii). Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest. It will further public understanding of government conduct, in particular the FBl's policies, practices, and methods of surveillance including the use of informants, the use of informants in terrorism-related prosecutions, the rate at which investigations and assessments of Muslim communities result in criminal and other prosecutions. We are well situated to disseminate information gained through this request to the public, to affected communities, to organizations that protect immigrants' rights, and to political and religious organizations. If the fee waivers are denied, the requesters are prepared to pay fees up to $25, and request to be informed of further fees that may be charged, but reserve the right to appeal a denial of fee waivers. If this request for information is denied in whole or in part, we ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. We expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. We reserve the right to appeal a decision to withhold any information.
BROAD INTERPRETATION OF REQUEST.
This FOIA request should be interpreted to include records maintained by FBI headquarters or any field office or task force including the Portland FBI Field Office, Oregon Joint Terrorism Task Forces, and U.S. / National Joint Terrorism Task Force but not limited to such.
I affirm that the information provided supporting the request for expedited processing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
From: Federal Bureau of Investigation
There are eFOIA files available for you to download.