Officials detain musicians as possible terrorists

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Officials detain musicians as possible terrorists

British singer Morrissey was questioned by the FBI and British intelligence after speaking out against Bush and Blair, while in Australia, American poetry slam artist Henry Rollins was nominated as “a possible terror threat”

British singer Steven Patrick Morrissey, previously lead singer of the rock group The Smiths, is a vocal critic of the US-led war in Iraq, and he has called the American president George W. Bush a “terrorist”.
In the end of February 2006, he said that the American the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British intelligence ‘Special Branch’ have investigated him and he has “been interviewed and taped and so forth”, the 46-year-old singer said to the British music magazine NME:
“They were trying to determine if I was a threat to the government, and similarly in England. But it didn’t take them very long to realise that I’m not. I don’t belong to any political groups, I don’t really say anything unless I’m asked directly and I don’t even demonstrate in public. (…)  My view is that neither England or America are democratic societies. You can’t really speak your mind and if you do you’re investigated.”

In June 2004, the singer, who lives in Los Angeles, caused outrage in America for interrupting a concert with news that former U.S. president Ronald Reagan had died, adding that he wished Bush had died instead.
Months later, Morrissey urged U.S. voters to get rid of Bush, calling him a terrorist and adding that he “single-handedly turned the United States into the most neurotic and terror-obsessed country on the planet.”

“Nominated as a possible threat”
Henry Rollins is the former lead singer of the Los Angeles punk band Black Flag and a spoken word poetry artist. Because of a book he was reading on a flight from Auckland to Brisbane he was detained and questioned for hours by Australian officials. He was informed that he was “nominated as a possible threat”. The book written by Wall Street Journal correspondent Ahmed Rashid was entitled ‘Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia”, published by Yale University Press. The man sitting next to him took objection to the book and reported Rollins to the National Security hotline.

Arrested at fuel station
In 2003, the Canadian instrumental band Godspeed You! Black Emperor were held for questioning as possible terrorists at an Oklahoma gas station on Saturday, while driving on a US tour. According to Tom Windish, a representative for the band, the band pulled their two white vans with trailers that had French slogans grafittied on the sides into a gas station to refuel. Upon seeing the crew of nine musicians, the station’s attendant passed a note to a female customer which said that the band were terrorists. It asked her to call the police.
Before even having a chance to leave the station, the group was reportedly approached by police. FBI agents arrived soon after. Some members of the band were held for questioning for roughly three hours before finally being released as innocents.


Sources:

Latest news on Google News: 
Search on ‘Morrissey + FBI’

Billboard – 26 February 2006:
 
‘Morrissey Claims Investigation By U.S., U.K. Intelligence’

Morrissey’s official web site:
 
www.morrisseymusic.com

Entertainment.News.com.au – 16 February 2006: 
‘Henry’s terror flight’

Blog on Henry Rollins’ official web site:
 
21361.com

Pitchfork Media – 24 March 2003:
 
‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor Questioned as Suspected Terrorists, Continue World Tour’

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