Source: Arizona Daily Star
On December 27, 2004 the Arizona Daily Star reported, "in the frantic days following Sept. 11, a Sikh gas station owner in Mesa was gunned down in a misguided attempt at revenge for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Balbir Singh Sodhi was targeted because his long beard and turban resembled pictures of Middle Eastern terrorists flashing across TV screens. It was one of many incidents of backlash against Sikhs. Three years later, a security company owned by a Sikh religious group has grown into the nation's biggest private protector of homeland security. Akal Security has more than $1 billion in contracts to guard more than 400 federal courthouses, eight military installations, half a dozen airports and Tucson City Hall. Akal, owned by the Sikh Dharma of Española, N.M., took over guarding city facilities - not just City Hall, but the water system, public housing, Tucson Convention Center, landfills and other facilities - on March 1, when a six-year contract with Pedus Security ran out."