UPI : Informant says he lured Muslims to gyms

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Informant says he lured Muslims to gyms

April 29, 2009

LOS ANGELES, April 29 (UPI) -- A convicted criminal and personal trainer says he was recruited by the FBI to pose as a Muslim convert and talk to Muslim men at gyms in Southern California.

Craig Monteilh told the Los Angeles Times he used the name Farouk al-Aziz and went to mosques claiming to be of Syrian-French descent. Agents told him to encourage young men he met to join him for workouts, which were secretly recorded.

Monteilh said he was recruited in 2006 and dropped in 2007. He told the Times the goal of the operation was for the FBI to look for information that could be used to pressure Muslim men into becoming informants.

A law enforcement source told the Times the FBI operation had a narrow focus, investigating men already identified as possible terrorists.

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