Lawsuit probes meeting between FBI director, radical Islamic group
Government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit in federal court to uncover details about a meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and an Islamic organization allegedly linked to terrorism.
Mueller met with the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in response to concerns raised by Attorney General Eric Holder and Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin regarding what they argued was Islamophobic training at the FBI.
“[The training is] flat-out wrong and does not reflect the view of the Justice Department or the FBI,” Holder said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in November 2011.
After his meeting with the ISNA on February 8, Mueller decided to scrap 876 pages and 392 presentations of FBI training material because they allegedly contained stereotypes associating Islam with terrorism.
“Political correctness played no role in the efforts I undertook to make certain that we will give the best training to our personnel,” Mueller told a Congressional committee in May.
Soon after the document purge, Florida Republican Rep. Allen West sharply criticized Mueller’s motives.
“If we continue to be recalcitrant in identifying who the enemy is and want to be less offensive to them, then we’re going to put ourselves in a bad situation,” West told Fox News. “Now you have an environment of political correctness which precludes these agents from doing their proper job and due diligence to go after the perceived threat.”
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the DOJ and FBI on March 7 to access documents related to the purge, but never received a final response from either agency.
In the FOIA request, Judicial Watch asked to see “any and all records setting criteria or guidelines for FBI curricula on Islam … as well as any directives to withdraw FBI presentations and curricula on Islam,” according to a press release.
The FOIA request also requested “records of communications between the Office of the Attorney General, the Obama White House, the Executive Office of the President, and Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council for American-Islamic Relations.”
Because the DOJ and FBI did not approve or reject the FOIA request within the required 20-day window, Judicial Watch filed suit in federal court.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the organization hopes to obtain all documents relating to the FBI director’s meeting with the ISNA.
“The FBI and the DOJ need to take terrorists’ front groups off their outreach list,” Fitton told the DCNF.
Additionally, federal prosecutors named the ISNA one of several unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which sent millions of dollars to Hamas, a known terrorist organization.
Fitton said he was concerned about the ISNA’s connections to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and insisted that Judicial Watch simply wants to get “behind the headlines” to find out what is really going on.
“There is no question that the country is less safe when we allow radical Muslim organizations to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job,” Fitton said in a press release. “The Obama administration owes the American people a full accounting of how and why his terrible decision was made.”
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