FBI Hoped to Follow Falafel Trail to Iranian Terrorists Here

FBI Hoped to Follow Falafel Trail to Iranian Terrorists Here


Like Hansel and Gretel hoping to follow their bread crumbs out of the forest, the FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian terrorists.

The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area.

The brainchild of top FBI counterterrorism officials Phil Mudd and Willie T. Hulon, according to well-informed sources, the project didn’t last long. It was torpedoed by the head of the FBI’s criminal investigations division, Michael A. Mason, who argued that putting somebody on a terrorist list for what they ate was ridiculous — and possibly illegal.

A check of federal court records in California did not reveal any prosecutions developed from falafel trails.

I’m not even close to having the skillz of an FBI agent, but I can tell you three reasons why this plan was doomed from the beginning — beyond than the fact that it’s totally illegal.

1) Falafel isn’t a Persian food at all. When was the last time you saw an Iranian eating falafel? (And the one time I went with Boyk to Sunshine Café in Berkeley two weeks ago doesn’t count.)

2) Iranian terrorist? Seriously? Think about that for a second. Name one Iranian terrorist. Go ahead, I dare you.

3) While the Bay Area may have some Iranians, we’re dwarfed by the number that are in LA and Orange counties. Plus, everyone knows that real Iranians (“terrorists” or otherwise) hit up Mashti Malone’s for totally sweet bastani.

[via FP Passport]


  1. Pingback: cyrusfarivar.com » Blog Archive » Falafel story a fake?

  2. What a RETARDED plan. This shows how some of the FBI officials have the intelligence of a five year old. Not to mention the racism evolved with this.

    To the Stupid FBI Geniuses:

    1- Persian DONT eat Falafel. It is NOT a persian dish. Do you research and stop generalizing everyone.

    2- Jews eat more Falafel than many other ethnic groups!

    Angry Iranian

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