Press Statement: CAIR Files FOIA Request on Radiation Monitoring of Muslim Sites
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/27/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all government records relating to a secret government program that monitored the radiation levels at more than 100 Muslim homes, businesses and mosques in the capital region and in other areas nationwide. According to an exclusive online article by U.S. News & World Report:
"In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts. . . No dirty bombs or nuclear devices have ever been found - and that includes the post-9/11 program. 'There were a lot of false positives, and one or two were alarming,' says one source. 'But in the end we found nothing.'"
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the FOIA request with the Department of Justice, including the FBI, and the Department of Energy.
In the request, CAIR asked for: 1) "Records concerning the authority of President Bush to delegate or personally authorize surveillance without obtaining a court order as required by FISA," and 2) "Comprehensive lists and addresses of the over a hundred Muslim sites (including mosques, organizations, businesses, warehouses and homes) in Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, New York, Las Vegas and Seattle which have been targeted for radiological surveillance by this top secret program."
We are concerned that, under this secretive program, our government has overstepped constitutional bounds by intruding on private property without any probable cause or valid court orders, said CAIR National Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar. The targeting of so many Islamic homes, businesses and mosques will inevitably create the impression that American Muslims are considered suspect solely because of their faith.
On Friday, CAIR held a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters with national and local Muslim and interfaith leaders in reaction to the U.S. News & World Report exclusive.
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Government Affairs Directory Corey Saylor, 202-646-6039 or 571-278-4658, E-Mail: email@example.com; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com.