FBI Seeks to Build Relationships with Muslims, Sikhs to Fight Terror

June 14, 2006

Source: Hindustan Times


On June 14, 2006 the Hindustan Times reported, "The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a pilot programme to reach out to community leaders from the Muslim, Sikh and a few other select communities across nationalities and rope them in in its fight against global terrorism. Called the Community Relations Executive Seminar Training or CREST, the programme aims at three things: bridge the trust gap, develop a bond, and build a level of confidence where the FBI and the community leaders believe in each other to have an honest and lasting friendship. CREST has been launched 'because if the threat is now home-grown to a large extent, we have to be looking for it at home,' said John Miller, FBI's assistant director of public affairs briefing foreign media on the agency's work with counter terrorism, counter-intelligence, criminal investigation, and cyber crime in New York. Initially started in New York, Los Angeles, Buffalo and Albany, where there are very vibrant and active Muslim communities, the programme is being expanded nationally to other areas with large Muslim, Sikh and other communities that would play into the cultural diversity outreach. [']Since a lot of these communities look on the FBI and the federal government at large with a great deal of suspicion, the FBI wanted to have some kind of insurance,' said Miller, who's also head of the Los Angeles Police Department counter- terrorism office. The idea was to have the kind of tripwires that will make community members, even those that hold the FBI or the federal government with some level of suspicion, cross the line and come forward and say, 'I've seen something, I've heard something, I've picked up on something that I'm not comfortable with that may be something you need to know about.'"