Self-Proclaimed SoCal Mosque Spy Sues FBI
A man who has repeatedly claimed he performed counter-terrorism spy work for the FBI in Southern California mosques is suing the agency essentially for cutting him off and failing to pay him what he says he was promised.
John Gilhooley for OC Weekly Craig Monteilh.
Forty-seven-year-old Irvine fitness consultant Craig Monteilh says he spied on people at mosques in Culver City, West Covina, San Pedro and a few more in Orange County in 2006 and 2007. After Ahmadullah Niazi, a man with alleged terrorist ties, reported that Monteilh was apparently agitating an Irvine mosque with jihadist chatter, Monteilh said he decided to reveal himself as an FBI informant.
In fact, Monteilh says he's the one who pointed out Niazi to the FBI but somehow found the tables turned and his mission in Irvine worthless when he was put under a restraining order not to visit the mosque. (Read more fascinating background on the case from OC Weekly). He said the FBI had promised to pay him $100,000 for his work.
He's also suing Irvine police.
Monteilh says he has provided the FBI with ""very, very valuable" information but that the agency has not treated him with respect in kind. In fact, the self-proclaimed former L.A. County sheriff's chaplain says, he was once prevented from defending himself in an unrelated theft case that put him behind bars for 16 months precisely because he was arrested while undertaking FBI duties and could not reveal his mission. In other words, he claims he took one for the team, and the team abandoned him.
An FBI spokeswoman said he was trying to discredit law enforcement. The agency has not confirmed or denied Monteilh's relationship to the agency.