Judicial Watch sues FBI, DOJ over FOIA stonewall on secret meetings with radical Islamist groups
From Judicial Watch:
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01183) against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking access to records detailing a February 2012 meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and Muslim organizations. Judicial Watch is also investigating the FBI’s subsequent controversial decision to purge the agency’s training curricula of material deemed “offensive” to Muslims.
On March 7, 2012, Judicial Watch submitted FOIA requests to the FBI and the DOJ seeking access to records concerning or relating to a February 8, 2012, meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and various Islamic organizations.
Judicial Watch seeks “any and all records setting criteria or guidelines for FBI curricula on Islam or records identifying potentially offensive material within the FBI curricula on Islam,” as well as any directives to withdraw FBI presentations and curricula on Islam. Judicial Watch also seeks records of communications between the Office of the Attorney General and several entities, including the Obama White House, the Executive Office of the President, and Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council for American-Islamic Relations regarding the FBI’s curricula on Islam.
The FBI acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on March 20, 2012, and was required to respond by May 1, 2012. The DOJ acknowledged receiving Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on March 14, 2012, and was required to respond by April 11, 2012. To date, neither agency has responded to Judicial Watch’s request in accordance with FOIA law.
FBI Director Robert Mueller reportedly met secretly on February 8, 2012, at FBI headquarters with a coalition of Islamist organizations, some with radical ties to terrorist organizations. For example, per The Washington Examiner, one group that reportedly met with Mueller – the Islamic Society of North America – “was tied to the terror groups Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in federal court documents.” The government named the Islamic Society of North America as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing lawsuit, along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the North American Islamic Trust.
During the February 8 meeting, Mueller reportedly assured the Islamic groups in attendance that the agency had ordered the removal of presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that were deemed “offensive.” As reported by NPR, overall, “The FBI has completed a review of offensive training material and has purged 876 pages and 392 presentations, according to a briefing provided to lawmakers.”
The material purge was reportedly initiated in response to a letter of complaint sent by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). However, other members of Congress, including Rep. Allen West (R-FL), object to allowing radical Muslim organizations the opportunity to dictate U.S. counterterrorism policy and want the material to be reinserted into the documents: “Now you have an environment of political correctness which precludes these agents from doing their proper job and due diligence to go after the perceived threat,” Congressman West said.
“There is no question that the country is less safe when we allow radical Muslim organizations to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI’s purge of so called offensive material is political correctness run amok and it puts the nation at risk. The Obama administration owes the American people a full accounting of how and why his terrible decision was made.”