October 08, 2010

"Don't worry, you're boring."

All the usual suspects are in a high dudgeon over the affair, led by Kim Zetter at Wired.com.

What can we learn from the story?

1. Yasir Afifi, of Santa Clara, California, has been under investigation by the FBI for at least the last six months, based upon a tip that he might represent a threat to US national security.

2. Yasir's friend Khaled posted something to a blog recently. Something about a shopping mall and a bomb.

3. A GPS tracking device was placed on Yasir's car by the FBI. It is likely that they had a warrant to do so, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that warrants are not needed in such a case.

3a. California is in the 9th Circuit.

4. Yasir took his car in for an oil change and noticed a wire connected to the tracking device. Doh! The mechanic removed the device and Yasir took it home.

5. Khaled posted pics of the device and questions about it at reddit.com.

6. Khaled's roommates smoke pot, but not to worry, this is California.

7. Yasir's car has expired plates, but that doesn't interest the FBI.

8. The ACLU says it's all because Yasir's dad was a Middle Easterner.

9. One of the FBI agents who recovered the device from Yasir is herself a Middle Easterner.

10. CAIR says this is a more egregious case than they usually see [because the Middle Easterner's don't usually spot the GPS device].

11. Yasir's boring - the FBI says so [of course, they might have been lying - in the absence of enhanced interrogation techniques, deceit is one of the few things federal agents can use to elicit information - and they don't need a warrant to lie to a suspect either].

12. Khaled's an idiot, or he's been smoking too much of his roommate's pot.

13. Did I mention that they probably had a warrant for the GPS device, but didn't need one anyway?

By Hetz Shahor at 12:59 PM | |