Burhan Mohumed was home alone one afternoon in July 2016, when two FBI agents knocked on his apartment door in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis and asked to be let in. They wanted to talk to him, they said through the door, about “radicalism in the community.” In three days, Mohumed was set to co-host a community event about the government’s controversial Countering Violent Extremism program, which many in Minneapolis’s large Somali-American community saw as surveillance and harassment of Muslims under the guise of outreach. Some of Mohumed’s friends had already received visits from the FBI, and he knew they were on a quest to recruit informants. Without opening the door, he took his phone and started recording.
“You got a warrant?” he asked. “We don’t need a warrant,” one of the agents replied.” “You could just make this easier or make this hard.”
“I was really nervous,” Mohumed told The Intercept during a recent interview. “I’m thinking, they could knock the door down, they can plant something, I could be set up. … The power they held over the situation is what scared me. They could literally do anything to me.”
Mohumed, invoking his constitutional rights, refused to let the agents in. “It’s kind of scary to have two white guys coming into the neighborhood looking for people,” he told them.
“I’m not white, brother,” one of the agents replied.
That agent — who only told Mohumed his name was “Terry” — was Terry Albury, a 17-year veteran of the FBI and the only black agent in the Minneapolis field office. Last April, Albury pleaded guilty to two federal charges of violating the Espionage Act after he was accused