RealNews

Oregon Muslims Protest Monthlong Detention Without a Charge

Behind the metal doors of a federal penitentiary near here, Maher Hawash has been imprisoned for 29 days without charge, linked to a terrorist plot in ways that the government refuses to describe. Mr. Hawash, an American citizen, is considered a material witness in a case against six people accused of conspiring to join the Taliban and Al Qaeda to fight against United States forces in Afghanistan, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Friends of Mr. Hawash, who is known as Mike, said that he prayed in the same mosque as two of the terrorism suspects, and that they fear the federal authorities may be preparing to accuse him in connection with the case. But so far, Mr. Hawash has not been indicted. The secrecy surrounding his case has generated outrage and uncertainty in the Muslim community here, raising many questions about the government’s use of detention of material witnesses as a weapon in the fight against terrorism. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more than two dozen people — including several American citizens — have been detained without charges as material witnesses in terrorism cases across the country. Government officials, who will not disclose how many people have been detained, say the detentions are necessary to deter attacks. Full Story

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