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False Terrorism Tips to F.B.I. Uproot the Lives of Suspects

One evening in late April, the F.B.I. chief in Indiana, Thomas V. Fuentes, went to a crowded basement in an Evansville mosque to ask for help in the fight against terrorism. Some 100 Muslims listened politely. Then the wife of a local restaurateur spoke up to tell him what had happened the last time agents came calling, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. On a tip, her husband, Tarek Albasti, and eight other men were rounded up, shackled, paraded in front of a newspaper photographer and jailed for a week. The tip turned out to be false. But four of the men were then listed in a national crime registry as having been accused of terrorism, even though they were never charged, as the F.B.I. later conceded. The branding prevented them from flying, renting apartments and landing jobs. Full Story

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