Feds May Have to Pay Terror Group for Rights Violations

Wiretap ruling leaves Holder facing dilemma
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2010 9:07 AM CDT
Feds May Have to Pay Terror Group for Rights Violations
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Eric Holder's Justice Department would probably like to accept last month's ruling that warrantless wiretapping under the Bush administration was illegal. There's a big catch, however, reports Newsweek: doing so would mean the department may have to pay damages to the Islamic charity that was wiretapped, which has been declared a terrorist organization.

Paying damages could, technically, violate the federal law against providing material support to terrorists, although the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation is now defunct and any payment would be a symbolic one to a frozen bank account. Justice Department lawyers are looking into the legality of paying damages. Holder, when the Senate Judiciary Committee asked if he'd accept the ruling, laughed and said, "I think I haven't made up my mind yet." (More Vaughn Walker stories.)

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