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Activists and family speak against Osmakac trial

By staff |
July 2, 2014
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One of the signs at press conference denouncing the verdict in Sami Osmakac case
One of the signs at press conference denouncing the verdict in Sami Osmakac case (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - On July 1, at the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse, activists and family of Sami Osmakac spoke against the verdict from his recent trial. They talked about how Osmakac's case, like hundreds of others in the U.S., was a result of pre-emptive prosecution. Pre-emptive prosecution is the prosecution of people who have not committed any crimes, and who pose no danger to people. Usually the FBI targets Muslims and Arab-Americans and uses informants and agents to push them into carrying out fake plots invented by the FBI.

Sami Osmakac is a mentally ill man who was recently found guilty of charges related to terrorism. The FBI had placed informants in local Tampa mosques that pushed Osmakac into making "radical YouTube videos." They later gave him money to buy their fake weapons so he could carry out a ‘terrorist plot’ that they had created.

Jared Hamil, a local activist with the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, said, "The FBI took advantage of a mentally ill man and pushed him to commit plots that the FBI had invented." He went on to say, "The U.S. government is targeting people not because of crimes they commit but because of their beliefs, nationality and ideology."

Avni Osmakac spoke of his brother's interactions with FBI informants. "Everything my brother knew about religion came from them [the FBI]. They were behind the scenes the whole time."

He said the FBI had spent years working on Sami Osmakac. They pushed him away from his family and away from medical treatment. "We tried to get my brother to go to the doctor, but he would always refuse saying that they would kill him. That's why he went to the mosques. And the government keeps informants in the mosques and that's where they got a hold of my brother."

Jared Hoey, also with the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, spoke of other cases around the country. "The government is currently targeting long-time activist Rasmea Odeh. She has done nothing wrong and committed no crime. The harassment of Muslims, Arab-Americans and anti-war activists needs to end. The only thing these people are guilty of is being Muslim or Arab-American in a country that targets them for repression."

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