Craig Monteilh was better known to his “fellow” Muslim worshippers in LA as Farouk al-Aziz, a French Syrian who wanted to connect with his past and to find God through Islam.
However, despite the Islamic looking attire, al-Aziz was in fact an FBI mole, who was working undercover to get information about the congregation, even being encouraged to sleep with Muslim women to get that information.
As he told the Huffington Post in a recent interview about his time as a mole, “The FBI paid me to infiltrate mosques in Los Angeles and Orange County in Southern California, as a very broad surveillance operation to give them the personal information of Muslims,” he said.
As well as attempting to obtain “personal information,” comprising of emails, cell phone numbers, and names of associates, his work also included placing recording devices covertly in the offices of Imams as well as the local Muslim Student Union.
The FBI planted Monteilh in the mosques in order to thwart potential terrorist attacks against Americans in mainland America as well as further afield.
Interestingly, according to him, Monteilh was trained properly by the FBI for the operations, “The FBI trained me in the tenets of Islam, in the elementary principles of Arabic, and just to blend into the community and to slowly integrate myself as a Muslim male,” he said.
As Monteilh revealed,
“I portrayed myself as a unmarried male, although I was married. Within the Muslim community, they would help me to get a bride, so they would introduce me to single Muslim women. I would go out on dates and things like that. … [My FBI handlers] instructed me, if I was getting good intel, to allow it to go into sexual relations.”
It all went wrong in the end as the plot took an unexpected turn when Monteilh’s extreme portrayal of his Islamism alienated the people he was getting intel from, and he himself was reported to the FBI.
At some point, despite the nearly $12,000 monthly Monteih was getting as a stipend for his work from the FBI, he became disillusioned, “I began to be conflicted because I was spying on innocent people. They were not involved in criminal activity. They were not espousing terrorist rhetoric, but I was still spying on them and giving the FBI the information they wanted.”
[Image via Huffington Post.]