Remember Craig Monteilh, that wacky convicted con artist who somehow convinced the FBI to pay him to spy on Muslims?
He's been trying for almost a year now to win recognition as a hero for supposedly stymieing unspecified (and unproven) terrorist plots in Orange County. The only problem with that scenario is that despite apparently wearing a wire in 2006 and 2007 while trying to cozy up to potential al Qaeda sympathizers, Monteilh succeeded in getting exactly one Muslim to say exactly one positive thing about Osama bin Laden.
To wit: he tape recorded Afghan immigrant Ahmadullah Sais Niazi calling the bearded cave dweller an "angel." The FBI apparently used that tape recording to try to pressure Niazi to become an informant and when he refused, they arrested him for withholding pertinent, Taliban-related information about one of his Afghan in-laws when he applied to immigrate to this country.
I first wrote about Monteilh back in April. The story included interviews with two women that Monteilh ripped off to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars by convincing them to lend him cash, which he was supposedly investing in human growth hormone (HGH). Monteilh claims he was actually working for law enforcement on an HGH probe, but has never provided any evidence for that, and in fact, he served several months in prison for the crime.
When I met with him last April, however, he did show me a minute order stating that an FBI agent had requested that his probation be ended because he had provided "valuable" information to the bureau. Although it looked real, there was no way to determine the minute order's authenticity, because it had already been sealed by the judge. However, last week, Monteilh succeeded in having that document unsealed, and he's now waving it around as evidence that he's a big hero after all.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, what did the FBI get from Monteilh? One nutty Afghan who lied on his immigration paperwork. It's worth mentioning here that Irvine mosque director Sadullah Khan, whom Monteilh had told me was supposedly recruiting terrorists to send to Pakistan, has since left the mosque. Nope: not because the FBI arrested him for being a terrorist, but because the mosque's board of directors fired him for unspecified improprieties, a decision that seems to have had something to do with protecting the interests of young female attendees.
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Meanwhile, Monteilh still wants mo' mo' money. He plans to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the FBI, claiming the bureau ruined his life by allowing him to be sent to prison for that aforementioned HGH ripoff, and for failing to pay him cash it promised him. In reality, he's lucky he got the FBI to have his probation ended, and lucky he got any money from the bureau. The FBI should be ashamed that it ever paid a single cent to Monteilh to spy on Muslims. It's abundantly clear that this ridiculous move has done nothing but rightfully embarrass the agency and both scare and offend many OC Muslims who now legitimately worry that the feds are spying on them.
But who said this story can't have a happy ending. That happy ending is what purports to be Monteilh's Facebook page. It has his photo and, until I emailed the page's author asking if he indeed was Monteilh, it was listed under his full name. That name has now been changed to Craig Rivers, although you can still find the page by Googling "Craig Monteilh" and Facebook. It's an obvious but rather entertaining hoax, with purported membership in such humorous (or passionately serious, who's to judge?) Facebook clubs such as Arab Male Celebrity Feet, Saudi Hairy Gay, Gay Men Wrestling Club, Sorry Boys I Only Date Bears, Gay India and the Michael Savage Fan Club.
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