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Monday, August 20, 2007

Terror adviser sued for 'anti-Islamic' messages

Bruce Tefft, who posts to the OSINT yahoo group, has accumulated upwards of $64,000 in legal fees in a lawsuit over messages that he sent to a different email list. I guess free speech really isn't free after all. Please consider visiting the link above and making a donation. If you can add a banner to your own web site or blog that would help, too:

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NYPD terror adviser sued for 'anti-Islamic' messages

A Muslim analyst for the New York City Police Department is suing the city for workplace harassment, alleging he was subject to a regular stream of "anti-Islamic" messages from an e-mail list run by a former adviser who trained detectives in counter-terrorism.

The contracted adviser, retired 21-year CIA veteran Bruce Tefft, is also a defendant in the suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan last December.

But Tefft – a founder of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Unit – told WND he believes the analyst, who is not named in court papers, has no case against him. Tefft, noting the suit so far has cost him $50,000 in legal fees, cites First Amendment protections and argues NYPD personnel signed up for his e-mail list at their own will and were completely free to unsubscribe at any time.

He also points out his employer at the time, the private intelligence firm Orion Scientific Systems, covered his entire salary and expenses, effectively donating his services to the NYPD.

A hearing is scheduled for next month on a motion to dismiss the case.

Tefft continues to send out about 50 to 60 e-mails a day comprised mostly of unclassified material and news reports from around the world related to terrorism and Islam. In a fraction of those dispatches he adds his own comments, some of which became a focus of the complaint.

"This is a global war we are in," Tefft said, explaining the relevance of the e-mailed reports to domestic officials. "The enemy is a global enemy. Jihadists are all over the world. So whatever goes on around the world has value here."

The suit by the Egyptian-born analyst – who filed as "John Doe Anti-Terrorism Officer" because he works undercover in the Cyber Unit – says the e-mails "ridiculed and disparaged the Muslim religion and Arab people, and stated that Muslim- and Arab-Americans were untrustworthy and could not reliably serve in law enforcement positions or handle sensitive data."

The Columbia World of Quotations:

QUOTATION: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

ATTRIBUTION: Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778), French philosopher, author. "what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”