FBI Frames Muslim-American After He Refuses to Be a ‘Terrorist Informant’

October 17, 2014   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
October 17, 2014

(TheAntiMedia) How does a non-violent man who once owned a store called “Nature’s Garden” and who founded a religious center that offered free meals and prayer services…end up in jail?

He is born half black, subscribes to Islam, and refuses to be an informant for the FBI. He is then denied justice at every level of his fabricated arrest and trial.

Ayyub Abdul-Alim is a 36-year-old native New Yorker who was arrested in Springfield, Massachusetts on December 9, 2011 for “possession of a firearm and ammunition without a firearm identification card.” Police records indicate he had no firearm on him at the time of arrest, yet he is serving  4-6 years for this crime.

Abdul-Alim’s targeting began a year before his arrest, in 2010, after a three-week trip to Mecca.

Abdul-Alim told The Nation that shortly after he returned to America, he began receiving calls from FBI agent, James Hisgen, an employee of the FBI’s Springfield office. Abdul-Alim recounts that he asked him questions like, “Do you love America?” and implored him to call him back to work as an informant. Abdul-Alim refused.

In his pursuit of an informant, Hisgen went so far as to visit Abdul-Alim’s mosque, Masjid Al Tawheed, with two other agents. Hisgen lied and said he was from the Springfield Building Department. He demanded to search the building but the Imam, Dr. Ishmael Ali, refused him due to the lack of a warrant. Ali recounted that in the time before Abdul Ali’s arrest, the man had sought advice from the Imam on how to get the FBI to stop harassing him. He had no interest in working for them.

Then, on December 9, 2011, he was stopped and frisked by two police officers on his way into a gas station store next to his house in Springfield. The officers had been ordered by Springfield police officer, Ronald Sheehan, to stop him and search him for a gun. They found no weapons. Sheehan ordered them, by radio, to search again. Again they found nothing. Abdul-Alim claims that after that, Sheehan said, “Is the subject in earshot?”

One of the cops, Angel Berrios, walked away. The police transcript ends here, but Abdul-Alim testified in court that when Berrios returned:

“[He] then (sic) pulls my pants to my ankles with my boxer shorts, touching my butt and penis area. Officer Berrios then (sic) yells out ‘Gun, he has a gun!’…I immediately said, ‘That gun is not mine! You know that gun is not mine! You searched me two times!’”

Abdul-Alim also testified that Sheehan, who was on the Joint Terrorism Task Force and worked with the FBI, showed up to the scene:

“…Within minutes, the same unmarked car pulls back up and Officer Sheehan in plain clothes exits the car. He opens the back door to the police car where I was being detained and said ‘Are you ready to make the deal of a lifetime (sic)?’ I said, ‘That gun is not mine and I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Officer Sheehan said, ‘Think about it on the way to the station.’”

Sheehan immediately contacted his FBI superior, James Hisgen. 48 hours after his arrest, the two interrogated him in jail.

Abdul-Alim recalled to The Nation that Hisgen said:

“You may remember I called you about a year ago requesting a meeting to discuss possible information you may have that could be helpful, but you refused to meet with me. Maybe you’ll be more willing to cooperate now.”

Abdul-Alim remembers:

“They said that I was facing ten years, but I could walk away right now if I agreed to be an informant…They said that they would give me the names of specific people who they wanted me to target, and I would use anti-government propaganda to incite them to violent action. They implied that they would provide me with guns and bombs to give people.”

This is nothing new for the FBI. In 2011, Mother Jones reported on the agency using informants to incite individuals into “committing” “acts of terrorism,” then publicly taking credit for foiling terrorist plots.

Abdul-Alim refused to be an informant, even in exchange for his freedom. He was held in jail for 2.5 years at the Hampden County Correctional Center until his trial. Then, in December of 2013, the prosecution added an entirely new set of charges to the original gun charge: police claimed to have searched an apartment complex Abul-Alim managed and to have found a bag of guns in an empty suite. Of the new charges, his public defender, Thomas Robinson observed:

“They supposedly sat on this information for two years, which is definitely very unusual.”

When the trial started in April of this year, there were numerous inconsistencies in the prosecution’s stories:

“The officers could not agree on simple details, including how many times they searched Abdul-Alim, or the location and time that they allegedly found the gun. The gun was originally described by police and a ballistic expert as a .22 revolver but later identified in court as a .25 semi-automatic pistol manufactured in 1908.

A police forensics analysis conducted three days after the arrest found that there were no fingerprints on the gun. In contradiction to police procedure, the arresting officers failed to retrieve surveillance videos of the arrest scene, wear gloves while handling the weapon, or write a complete police report.”

Abdul-Alim testified in court that he believed the police planted a weapon on him in an attempt to force him to be an informant.
Further, it was revealed during the trial that Abdul-Alim’s wife, Siham Stewart, was paid almost $12,000 to be an informant to Sheehan and the FBI. Her testimony contradicted statements from an earlier hearing.
This, however, did not concern the judge, Constance Sweeney, who heard the case only as one of straightforward gun charges. She barred any discussion of the FBI’s involvement and banned three defense witnesses, including Dr. Ali. She forbid evidence from Senator Benjamin Swan, whom Abdul-Alim contacted before his arrest for help regarding the FBI’s harassment.

When the jury came back hung two times (warranting a re-trial), Sweeney refused their decision. She did not accept a verdict until the jury returned with “guilty.” Abdul-Alim was sentenced to 4-6 years for the arresting “offense.” He awaits sentencing for the second “charge,” which carries up to ten years of additional time.

As the investigative piece by The Nation noted, Abdul-Alim found himself at a brutal crossroads in American society: being black and facing institutionalized racism while also being Muslim, thereby indiscriminately targeted in the War on Terror. He is also half Puerto Rican and both of his parents had been members of groups targeted by the FBI decades ago: the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, a radical Puerto Rican group.

Abdul-Alim’s story should be a wake-up call to any American that claims to love their “free” country or supports the intrusion of massive government into the lives of every citizen.

When the people live in fear of conjured-up terrorist threats, the government exploits these emotions to lie, cheat, manipulate and abuse its citizens. That a person like Adbul-Alim—a businessman, father, and charitable citizen—can be sentenced on deceitful charges shows just how effective propaganda can be, whether it is used to inflict nonstop war, destroy liberties, or to punish someone for refusing to help a corrupt agency manufacture proof of its effectiveness (worse, punishment for refusing to be an informant is not an isolated case).

Of all of the disturbing elements of this story, one of the most chilling is that it has hardly been covered by the media. Few know who Ayyub Abdul-Alim is as he sits in jail for a non-violent crime he didn’t commit. The press has failed in informing the people of such a horrifying incident of flagrant abuse and corruption. If they knew, perhaps injustices such as these would be curbed.

Please visit Justice for Ayyub for more details on the sham of his prosecution and share this article to show the real face, force and fraud of the war on terror and the government agencies that claim to provide for your freedom.

Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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26 Comments

  1. Framed and convicted unjustly by jury trial? How does this even happen in our country … this story needs to be shone a spotlight upon …

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  2. the difference here, is the fact the guy has a Public Defender… his church and friends should hire a defense lawyer on his behalf… i believe he'd have a better shot at this, the public defender is on gov't payroll… who do u think the defender answers to?

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  3. Something has to be missing from this story. It's not all the truth being told. I also think there are outright lies on both sides.

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  4. salam, I think who ever is interested in understanding the US government and its institutions, all he/she has to do is to read some of NOAM CHOSKY s writings about the American deception as far as Democracy and Civil Liberty, Freedom and Justice, and who is in control of these institutions ( the powerful and elites)

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  5. It's not the first time. Not even close. How many people have been forced into false confessions and had to do 25-30 years in jail? People are being framed all the time. I think it's kind of obvious that the big media outlets are working with the police state and the corrupt government to spread lies while this is happening on the down low.

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  6. Patrick Patient All such cases need the spotlight … do you have any other known examples?

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  7. Every single FBI agent, cop, the judge, and anyone else involved are part of a criminal conspiracy! Under the RICO act, every single one of them should be charged with the absolute worst crime committed by any one of them, along with all the other charges possible. I am sure these crooked scum have had one who was a part of a murder, and that means all of them are guilty of it! Charge them all!!!!!

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  8. Despite da fact he's a Muslim, I'd donate money towards him 2 get da best possible defense against dis bullshit! I can't afford 2 now, but any1 who isn't awake by what da government is tryna do 2 ppl needa forcibly awakened in da biggest way possible! Like how Chris Dorner went on a tyrade on da LAPD; somethin' like dat needs 2 happen 2 da government, in a sense!

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  9. Wow what a surprise the fbi frames some one. I'm shocked. And the government and the cops and feds wonders why no one gives a fuck when one goes down. I sure as he'll could care less.

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  10. Michael Rudnin yeah stuff like this happens quite frequently behind the scenes that the mainstream isnt allowed to report on because they work for the corporations and government, shit like this is why the mass surveillance and growing power in the government is so scary, they are more corrupt than most people would ever believe

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  11. Lolh ow does this happen in our country? Lmfao, this is america. Where else would this happen?

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  12. Maybe maybe not. This happens constantly with the fbi. They profile and harrass minorities and try to use doctored or nonexistent evidence to flip informants. They will do anything thwy feel is neccesary to flip an CI, or they will burn you to the ground just because.they can. Outright lies, maybe by the cop. Theyre the ones doctoring stories and fudging reports. If the guy said no, i dont want to risk my life as a CI then that should have been the end. The cops are acting more like a mafia now

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  13. At this point this man has every reason to go and legitimately join one of those "anti-american" groups and realistically I couldn't blame him. This guy has literally been railroaded into prison for a crime he didn't commit and worse of all, it was all a government conspiracy. Getting harder and harder to dismiss the idea that such things exist.

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  14. Look up the "Memphis three" they were released after 20+ years only after signing an Alfred plea which is the police admiring the screwed up but you can sue for wrongful incarsaration because the had reasons me doubt. All the evidence points that the did not have reasonable doubt. Just a desire in a Christian community to arrest people with differing views and charge them with murder.

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  15. Loren F. Kruesi yeah you're right… a public pretender…. don't know what would cause someone to settle for one…

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  16. America is like a pot of boiling water eventually its going to over boil then i can say there will be chaos and anarchy !!!

    American Revolution 2.0 We the people vs Corrupt officers of the law (FBI,CIA,COPs) even officials (sen. governors etc.) and Judges !!!

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  17. DAMN AMERICA IS HELL OF A SHITHOLE ! ThirdWorldCountry say i..

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  18. I only live about 45 minutes outside of Springfield MA and it saddens me that not only did this happen in my own backyard and did not hear about it and that this man because he has the right to freedom of religion and is not conforming to the "christian" values that the U.S. pushes upon us as a society. I am agnostic and believe that everyone has a right to practice their religion without prosecution or persecution. Isn't that why this country was founded in the first place?

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  19. How can this article be posted on the internet at all if they've gone to that much trouble to hide it everywhere else? Why hasn't the FBI had this article forcibly removed? They've already proven they have the capability to shut down websites. Why let discussion about this man happen at all, since public acknowledgement would only cause them problems?

    Unless they don't see us as a threat. Like, at all.

    THAT should disturb you.

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  20. Brave Czar Because they're broke and can't afford a proper lawyer. Welcome to the system, this is how poverty is maintained, classes kept separated. Exactly what the concept of "Public Defenders" was intended to avoid. Hard to tell if the concept simply failed, or if it has been used against itself.

    Best bet is to ring up the ACLU or another organization with real, committed lawyers, and hope they decide to take up the case. Unfortunately there are not enough lawyers willing to work pro bono to cope with the number of legal injustices that occur.

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  21. Israelis incite islamic people too

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