Entries in Yasir Afifi (1)


Homegrown Terror? FBI Tracks California College Student

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/KGO-TV San Francisco(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- A 20-year-old college student from California said he was shocked to discover he has been followed by the FBI when he found a GPS tracker placed underneath his car.

Yasir Afifi, a half-Egyptian, half-American Muslim and U.S. citizen, said he was having the oil changed on his car last Sunday at a Santa Clara, Calif., auto shop when he noticed a wire and the black device underneath the automobile as it was being raised.

"I was born here in Santa Clara, I just turned 20 last August. I'm a sales manager, we sell laptops and I'm a full-time student," Afifi told ABC News.

Afifi, the son of a prominent Muslim community leader who travels frequently to Egypt and the Middle East, said that two days after discovering the tracking device he was stopped and questioned by FBI agents and Santa Clara police as he left his apartment complex.

According to Afifi, the FBI agent asked him whether he had been to Yemen for any type of training and whether he knows anyone "extreme or abnormal" or who has been posting anything online that they shouldn't be.

"He goes, 'Where is the device you located under your vehicle?' I didn't even answer that, I just asked him, 'Did you guys put it there?' and he goes, 'Yeah,'" Afifi said.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler refused to discuss Afifi's discovery with the media but did respond with the following statement: "Court decisions have consistently upheld that there is no warrant necessary for GPS tracking of a vehicle when the vehicle is in a public space."

Afifi, who lived in Egypt for several years, travels there approximately once a year to visit his two brothers who currently live there, his lawyer said. In addition, his work in sales sends him to the Middle East on and off. He plans to travel to Dubai next week.

Although the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has recently re-affirmed the government's ability to use GPS devices on cars, Afifi's attorney said the college student's civil rights were violated in this series of events, and that his client was intimidated and harassed.

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