Muslim Advocates Sues FBI Over Mosque Surveillance – Coverage in Politico.com prompts immediate federal response
September 16, 2009 – Muslim Advocates today filed suit in federal court in Washington, DC demanding access to surveillance guidelines issued by the FBI to its agents.
In the wake of concerns over federal agents infiltrating mosques and the so-called “mapping” of communities where American Muslims reside, the suit against the Department of Justice asserts that the FBI has no legal basis to withhold the Domestic Investigative Operational Guidelines (DIOGs), which became effective in December 2008.
“All Americans have the right to attend religious services without fear of
law enforcement agents looking over their right shoulder while they pray, ” said Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera. “The public — and especially the American Muslim community, which has been under tremendous scruitny since 9/11– has a substantial interest in the release of the complete and unredacted guidelines.”
The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, demands the immediate and full disclosure of the standards and procedures utilized by FBI agents when initiating surveillance activities in houses of worship and online social networking forums.
The suit was filed after months of repeated requests by Muslim Advocates attorneys through the Freedom of Information Act to obtain an unredacted copy of the final guidelines.
After an article featuring Muslim Advocates’ suit appearing in this morning’s edition of Politico.com, an influential daily newspaper/blog in Washington, DC, the Justice Department informed the blog that it would be releasing the DIOGs as soon as this Friday.
Muslim Advocates expects no less than the release of the complete and
unredacted guidelines and will continue to press the administration to be transparent and forthcoming about the immense law enforcement powers that infringe on the religious freedom and other constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.
Click here for the full press release.
Click here for a copy of the complaint.
Click here for Politico’s coverage.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y9bg5qg