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2001-11-05

FBI Detains More Than One Thousand Immigrants, Muslims, and People of Middle Eastern Descentin Largest Dragnet Since Wwii

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The Sunday Washington Post reads:

“Exactly 23 minutes before suspected terrorist plot leader Mohamed Atta acquired a Florida driver’s license, a28-year-old Pakistani gas station attendant got his license renewed at the same motor vehicles’ branch. For thatreason, Mohammad Mubeen was standing in a tiny courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit last Monday afternoon, one ofmore than 1,100 people ensnared in a nationwide hunt for terrorists.

“In urgent, rapid-fire Urdu, Mubeen pleaded to be released. True, he had entered the United States illegally, he toldthe judge through a translator. But he said he simply did not know any of the hijackers.

"Still, the government attorney in the Miami courtroom easily persuaded the judge to hold Mubeen without bond."The Post goes on to characterize the FBI actions as "a campaign of detentions on a scale not seen since WorldWar II." The article continues,

"The operation is being conducted under great secrecy, with defense attorneys at times forbidden to remove documentsfrom court and a federal gag order preventing officials from discussing the detainees. Law enforcement officials haverefused to identify lawyers representing people who have been detained or to describe the most basic features of theoperation. The officials say they are prohibited from disclosing more information because of privacy laws, judges’orders and the secrecy rules surrounding the grand jury investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks."

For the rest of the hour, we’ll have a roundtable discussion.

Guests:

  • Kate Martin, Center for National Security Studies, helped to file Freedom of Information Request withcivil liberties and civil rights groups for information about detainees.
  • Michael Boyle, lawyer in Connecticut representing people detained since September 11.
  • Denise Sabagh, lawyer in Washington DC working with detainees.
  • Subhash Kateel, INS organizer for DRUM, Desis Up and Rising

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