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Appeals Court Upholds Legality of Fed Raid on Va. Muslim Charities

virginia-map1The raid hasn’t done much good for the relationship between federal law enforcement and the Islamic community in the Washington/Virginia region. But the court said the feds did nothing wrong. A ruling to the contrary may have given the Islamic community more ammunition to criticize federal law enforcement.


By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer

An appeals court yesterday upheld the legality of federal raids on a Herndon-based network of Muslim charities, businesses and think tanks, a case that caused a firestorm in the Muslim community.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the March 2002 raids on homes and business in Herndon and elsewhere in Northern Virginia were “a harrowing experience” for the targets but did not violate their constitutional rights. The court said agents exercised “lawful force” in drawing their guns and handcuffing a family whose home was searched.

Federal agents carted away hundreds of boxes of documents during the searches from some of the most established Islamic organizations in the United States. They were looking for evidence of an international network to finance terrorism, part of what federal officials have called the nation’s largest terrorism-financing investigation.

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