U.S. Muslim Groups Cleared


CAIR: U.S. MUSLIM GROUPS CLEARED

The Senate Finance Committee has wrapped up a high-profile investigation into U.S. Muslim organizations and terrorism financing, saying it discovered nothing alarming enough to warrant new laws or other measures, officials said.

The inquiry, which took nearly two years, was highly unusual in that the committee pored through private financial information held by the government. The panel had asked the Internal Revenue Service for the financial records and donor lists of two dozen Muslim charities, think tanks and other organizations. Nine were based in the D.C. area.

"We did not find anything alarming enough that required additional follow-up beyond what law-enforcement agencies are already doing," Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, said in a statement this week.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. government has frozen millions of dollars in assets allegedly linked to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups and shut down some of the biggest U.S.-based Islamic charities. In launching their inquiry in December 2003, Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the committee's ranking Democrat, expressed concern about "the crucial role that charities and foundations play in terror financing."

Some Muslims, however, protested that the Senate investigation unfairly cast a cloud over many groups.

"It was really just a fishing expedition," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "They didn't catch any fish."

 


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