11/17/2004

Groups, U.S. Battle Over 'Global Terrorist' Label (washingtonpost.com)

"Three years ago, two dozen FBI agents raided the headquarters of the Global Relief Foundation outside Chicago, the second-largest Islamic charity in the United States. Without a warrant, they stripped it clean of records and froze $900,000 in assets.

The same day, NATO troops searched the charity's offices halfway across the world in Kosovo, the strife-torn southern province of Serbia. A NATO statement cited 'intelligence information' that some Global Relief officials may have been 'planning attacks against targets in the U.S.A. and Europe.'

Global Relief attorney Roger Simmons, surrounded by government evidence and correspondence related to the charity's closure, said, 'We found ourselves trying to rebut newspaper reports from around the world.'

As of today, neither Global Relief nor any of its officials have been charged with a crime. Charity officials have also not had a chance to confront all of the government's evidence linking the group to terrorism. The classified evidence remains out of reach, and much of the unclassified evidence turned out to be allegations in newspaper clippings.

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