[Marxism] Portrait of an FBI informant

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 21 09:54:56 MST 2016


Tomorrow night PBS is airing a documentary titled "[T]error" that I 
reviewed last October. From my review:

At the beginning of the film director Lyric Cabral (an African-American 
woman who co-directed with David Sutcliffe, who is white) reveals that 
after she met Sharif the paid informant under circumstances that are not 
detailed he agreed to be filmed. Given his background, one might suspect 
that he could make some money out of the project.

Sharif is like many people who become snitches. When he was arrested for 
robbing token booths in 1987, the cops made him an offer that he 
probably couldn’t refuse. After they discovered that he had been a 
member of the Black Panther Party in the early 70s and was a practicing 
Muslim, he was offered a deal. Early release from prison in exchange for 
entrapping Muslim radicals, including one Tariq Shah, a Harlem-based 
jazz musician and martial arts instructor who used to work with Betty 
Carter and Ahmad Jamal. He is now in prison serving a 15-year term for 
supposedly telling Sharif that he was willing to train al-Qaeda members 
in hand-to-hand combat. For his part in setting Tariq Shah up, Sharif 
was paid handsomely.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2015/10/09/four-new-films/

As it turns out, there is an article in today's NY Times Magazine 
section about the documentary that unfortunately leaves out the crucial 
information that the cops twisted Sharif's arm to become a snitch.

In any case, the article is worth reading:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/magazine/the-informant-and-the-filmmakers.html

Also, if the film becomes available on the PBS website, I will post a 
link to it.



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