October 9, 2010

Student’s Discovery of GPS Tracking Device Brings Visits by FBI, ACLU

10-9-2010 Washington:

A California student was visited first by the FBI and then by the American Civil Liberties Union after reports surfaced that his mechanic had found a GPS tracking device on his car.

After Yasir Afifi discovered the device, a friend posted photos online, prompting “wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do,” Wired.com reports on its blog Threat Level. The 20-year-old Arab-American student at Mission College in Santa Clara soon found out, the story says.

Afifi told Wired that FBI agents and police officers came to his apartment and demanded the return of the device. One agent reportedly told Afifi they knew what restaurants he frequented and congratulated him on his new job. Officers also asked about Afifi’s acquaintances and showed him a blog post written by his friend that had “something to do with a mall or a bomb,” Afifi said; the friend later said it was just something stupid he wrote.

After that, Afifi said, he heard from Brian Alseth of the ACLU in Washington state, who reportedly said the ACLU has been waiting for a case like this.

An FBI spokesman contacted by Wired wouldn’t confirm Afifi’s account, citing “an ongoing investigation.” Afifi, whose late father was an Islamic-American community leader, says he he’s done nothing wrong. ..Source.. by Debra Cassens Weiss

No comments: