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Fewer than 50 held without charge in war on terror, documents show

The Justice Department had detained fewer than 50 people as material witnesses without charging them in the war in terror as of January and had gained 47 court-ordered delays in notifying people of search warrants, according to documents released Tuesday. In addition, “fewer than 10” FBI offices have conducted investigations involving visits to Islamic mosques, the Justice Department said. The department also said the FBI does not keep files on information collected at public places or events unless it relates directly to a criminal or terrorist probe. The new details are part of a 60-page agency response to the House Judiciary Committee’s request for information about the prosecution of the war on terror and use of the USA Patriot Act since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The documents did not include specifics about investigations into library patrons’ computer use or book records. But Viet Dinh, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, told the Judiciary constitution subcommittee Tuesday that about 50 libraries have been contacted with court permission as part of post-Sept. 11 national security investigations. Full Story

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