Muslim Groups Weigh Breaking Ties With FBI

March 22, 2009

Author: Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah

Source: The Chicago Tribune

Relations between Muslim American groups and the FBI have approached a breaking point in the wake of news last week that the bureau has severed formal ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Islamic advocacy group in the U.S.

Amid debate over whether such organizations should even work with the FBI, a nationwide coalition of Muslim groups has threatened to break from the bureau because of the agency's treatment of CAIR and allegations last month that the FBI had sent undercover agents into California mosques, pressured Muslim Americans to become informants and used "agents provocateurs to entrap" Muslims.

Rumors had been circulating since last fall in Muslim American communities that the FBI was no longer working with CAIR, which has one of its largest chapters in Chicago. The group was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case.

On Wednesday, FBI Assistant Director John Miller released a statement, confirming the break in its relationship with CAIR.

"What we have sought to limit are any formally constructed partnerships between CAIR and the FBI," said the statement. "Our concerns relate to a number of distinct narrow issues specific to CAIR and its national leadership."