FBI investigates transnational repression tactics of foreign governments in US

Source: FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency, indicates on its website that it investigates the transnational repression tactics of foreign governments in the US and offers instructions on how to report such activity.

According to the FBI web page some countries “harass and intimidate” their citizens living in the US, a violation of US law and individual rights and freedoms.

Transnational repression can take a number of forms: stalking, harassment, hacking, assaults, attempted kidnapping, forcing or coercing the victim to return to the home country, threatening or detaining family members in the home country, freezing financial assets and online disinformation campaigns, the FBI said.

A report by Freedom House on global transnational repression in 2021 contained case studies on six leading states that engage in transnational repression: China, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and Turkey.

According to the Freedom House report the Turkish government has pursued its critics in at least 30 different host countries spread across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since a coup attempt in July 2016. Ankara’s campaign primarily targets people affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, but the efforts of the government have recently expanded to include Kurds and leftists.

An SCF report, released in October and titled “Turkey’s Transnational Repression: Abduction, Rendition and Forcible Return of Erdoğan Critics,” focused on how the Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has used extrajudicial and illegal methods for the forcible transfer to Turkey of its citizens abroad.

In 2021 the Turkish government did not hesitate to refer to extrajudicial and illegal methods as part of its propaganda, with President Erdoğan mentioning the forcible return of Turkish nationals in his speeches as part of the country’s counterterrorism success.

That same year Orhan İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish- Kyrgyz Sapat school network operating in Kyrgyzstan, went missing in May and was feared to have been abducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) due to his alleged links to the movement. İnandı’s whereabouts were only revealed after President Erdoğan acknowledged in a statement on July 5 that he had been rendered to Turkey by MİT, lauding the Turkish spies’ efforts in the operation.

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