FAW attended the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival screening of the documentary of “The Feeling of Being Watched” which details the quest of Assia Boundaoui to uncover information on the FBI’s “Operation Vulgar Betrayal,” a wide-ranging pre-9/11 FBI counterterrorism investigation, conducted during the 1990s and 2000s, that aimed to track Middle Eastern terrorist funds but ended in sweeping surveillance of Muslim communities. Boundaoui seeks to uncover FBI documents related to the operation in order to determine who the FBI was tracking and why. In September 2016, under the Freedom of Information Act, she requested that the Justice Department provide her with documents from the operation and later sued in June 2017 in the Federal District Court of Illinois when the government appeared to be stalling her request. The complaint stated “Members of the Arab and Muslim American communities affected directly by the surveillance, and Americans of all backgrounds, have an urgent need to understand the broad scope of these investigations spurred by policies that profiled entire communities based on religion and ethnicity.” The court ruled in her favor requesting the government begin providing 3,000 documents a months of the over 30,000 related to the operation.

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