Domestic Spying Shuts Down US Foundation

But offers no evidence, in 4 years, for 'aiding terrorists' charges
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
Domestic Spying Shuts Down US Foundation
Pete Seda, left, the head of the Ashland-based Saudi charity Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation speaks to students about peace in this file photo taken during a panel discussion Sept. 11, 2002.   (AP Photo/Ashland Daily Tidings, Myles Murphy)

The Al-Haramain foundation was wiretapped, raided, closed down, and had its accounts frozen 4 years ago for allegedly funding terrorists. The Ashland, Ore. group's leaders landed in legal and financial jeopardy, but to this day have not seen the evidence against them. Salon dissects the case as an example of Washington's Kafkaesque domestic spying program.

The foundation, the US branch of a global Saudi Arabian charity organization, was "a respected Islamic center that attracted an eclectic mix of hippies, rednecks, and African and Middle Eastern immigrants" before the raid, Salon writes. Since then, the principals have been unable to access funds for their defense, and anyone who tries to help may be charged as an accessory. "This is a really dark era we're in right now," says one sympathizer. (More National Security Agency stories.)

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