Oregon Muslims Question Lengthy Detention

April 20, 2003

Source: The New York Times


On April 20, 2003 The New York Times reported that "Maher Hawash has been imprisoned for 29 days without charge, linked to a terrorist plot in ways that the government refuses to describe... Mr. Hawash, an American citizen, is considered a material witness in a case against six people accused of conspiring to join the Taliban and Al Qaeda to fight against United States forces in Afghanistan, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Friends of Mr. Hawash, who is known as Mike, said that he prayed in the same mosque [in Oregon] as two of the terrorism suspects, and that they fear the federal authorities may be preparing to accuse him in connection with the case... But so far, Mr. Hawash has not been indicted. The secrecy surrounding his case has generated outrage and uncertainty in the Muslim community here, raising many questions about the government's use of detention of material witnesses as a weapon in the fight against terrorism."