Government raids pro-US Muslim organization?
March 21, 2002 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Government raids pro-US Muslim organization? On Wednesday, federal agents raided Muslim organizations and homes in Virginia and Georgia, bearing search warrants looking for evidence of funding terrorist organizations. Ironically, the main target of the raids was the 20-year old International institute of Islamic Thought, an institution headed by Shaikh Dr. Taha Jaber al-Alawani, who, among other things, delivered a fatwa in October 2001 sanctioning American Muslim soldiers (.pdf) to participate in the War on Terrorism on Islamic religious grounds.
posted by laz-e-boy (4 comments total)
The opacity of these inquests is somewhat troubling.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:32 AM on March 21, 2002

150 agents go to 14 locations with search warrants to rout alleged terrorists and noone even gets arrested? Way fishy. Hope somebody leaks copies of those search warrants soon, love to hear what probable cause was.

I still don't think the raid on IIT is technically ironic. Not least of all as it's not actually funny. (heh. feeble joke).
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2002

Well, it would depend; are these arrest warrants or search warrants?

During the execution of a search warrant you can legally walk away. I'm not saying that the people searching the warrant won't try to illegally detain you; but you do have the legal right to walk away. In fact, it might be best if you do.

Obviously, arrest warrants are a different matter.
posted by hadashi at 11:27 AM on March 21, 2002

According to Steven Emerson, the independent investigator of Islamist terror networks who, prior to 9/11, was frequently derided by Muslims as a rabble-rouser, racist, and worse, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) is the primary funder of the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) -- which is the Tampa-based group linked to Dr. Sami al-Arian (its head is his brother-in-law, Mazen al-Najjar), who was fired by the University of South Florida -- despite howls of protest by Muslim groups and noted attention from the national media, read the legal points concluding the Tampa Trib article, and the USF timeline showing federal investigations dating back to the mid-1990s, prior to 9/11, prior to even the embassy bombings or the USS Cole; and see the St. Petersburg Times editorial showing that whether or not WISE was directly linked to terrorism the USF showed poor judgement in contracting with that group and al-Arian, who has no academic credentials. Al-Arian's son -- an aide for Rep. David Bonior -- was notably removed from a White House tour last summer at the last minute, allegedly because of these links. Rather disconcertingly, al-Arian once organized a conference that included the then-future organizer of the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.

None of this is to say that they didn't, at times, do perfectly legal things, or legitimately help people, or host legitimate gatherings. But anyone should be troubled by how easily their activities stray into areas that are very, very gray.
posted by dhartung at 4:21 PM on March 21, 2002

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