A recent feature report in Mother Jones describes the story of an American citizen, Naji Mansour, who was living in Kenya. When Mansour turned down a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) demand to become a government informant, his life was turned into hell. He was frequently detained, interrogated, and forced to exile, Nick Baumann, senior editor at Mother Jones reports.
An audio transcript of the telephone conversation between Mansour and the FBI officials reveals that he was also openly threatened by the agency if he chose not to do their bidding.
“You're about to cross the street without looking both ways…you might get hit by a car,” said the agent over the phonecall.
Mansour is not the only one who has suffered discrimination at the hands of the agency.
In an interview with Democracy Now, Mansour revealed that there were in fact, many others who suffered a fate similar to his. He said. “I have come across other people who have been pressured. During my experience with an organization in Kenya called the Muslim Human Rights Forum, we came across several people who were pressured in different ways with regards to, you know, becoming informants. And they—them being under detention at the time was used as kind of a form of duress in which to get them to accept becoming an informant.”
The agency picked him up over alleged links to terrorists and data found on Mansour’s computer, which included research papers on terrorism and jihadist videos, which he claimed to own for research purposes. However, the pertinent question to ask here is not about why he was detained, it is regarding how it was done so. Is it justifiable for any law enforcement agency – regardless of how influential it is – to carry out such detentions, torture, and interrogations without due proper measure? And is threatening ever justifiable on the mere basis of allegations? These are the questions America needs to find the answers to before time runs out.