Money Matters - Simplified

College student discovers FBI tracking device in his car

Afifi revealed that he felt concerned and intimidated as the FBI agents made it clear that they will arrest him “for obstruction of justice" if he did not cooperate.

Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old college student in Santa Clara, California, said in an interview that he was shocked when he accidentally discovered a GPS tracking device placed underneath his car earlier this week.

After posting the image of the device, with the help of a friend, on a user-generated news site Reddit.com, he found that the device belongs to Federal Bureau of Investigation. This could only mean one thing that FBI was tracking him for some reason.

"I was born here in Santa Clara; I just turned 20 last August. I'm a sales manager, we sell laptops and I'm a full-time student," said Afifi in an interview on Friday.

When asked, what he thinks could be the reason behind FBI’s such intrusion of his privacy, he said that the only scenario he could think of is, "I'm half-Arab, a young Muslim, my dad was a religious role model in the community. I travel overseas for work and to visit my brothers in Egypt. It's their (FBI) ticket to bother me forever."

He revealed that he found the device when he was changing oil on his car and discovered a wire hanging from a black device.

FBI agents at youngster's house
Afifi revealed that two days after finding the device and posting it online to know who it belongs to,the FBI agents showed up at his Santa Clara apartment complex. Agents indirectly hinted that he’s been under surveillance for around three to six months.

"I was born here in Santa Clara; I just turned 20 last August. I'm a sales manager, we sell laptops and I'm a full-time student," said Afifi in an interview on Friday.

They also asked him series of questions, which he answered.

Afifi revealed that he felt concerned and intimidated as the agents made it clear that they will arrest him “for obstruction of justice" if he did not cooperate.

When they were finished questioning him, the FBI agents asked him to return the device as “its federal property.” They also told him not to worry as they have found nothing serious about him.

FBI’s reaction
Meanwhile, FBI seems to be in no mood to officially accept that the tracking device found by Afifi under his car belonged to them or that agents visited Afifi at his house.

As per an FBI spokesman at agencies San Francisco office, Peter Lee, "I can’t really tell you much about it, because it’s still an ongoing investigation."

He added that bureau has not broken any privacy law as “Court decisions have consistently upheld that there is no warrant necessary for GPS tracking of a vehicle when the vehicle is in a public space."

However, Brian Alseth from the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington (ACLU) believes that this case is exactly what is required to challenge the ruling.

"It seems very frightening that the FBI have placed a surveillance-tracking device on the car of a 20-year-old American citizen who has done nothing more than being half-Egyptian," said Alseth.