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U.S. Opens 2 Inquiries Into Arrest of Muslim Lawyer in Oregon

The Justice Department has opened dual internal investigations into the department’s arrest of a Muslim lawyer in Oregon who was mistakenly linked to the Madrid train bombings because fingerprints found at the scene of that terrorist attack were misread, officials said Monday.The lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, said in a complaint that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had inappropriately conducted a secret search of his home and jailed him for two weeks in May in part because of his Muslim faith and his ties to Muslims in Oregon. He was released after the federal authorities said they had mistakenly matched Mr. Mayfield’s fingerprints to a print found on a bag that contained detonators at the crime scene in Madrid. F.B.I. officials attributed the mismatch to the poor quality of the original print. The Spanish authorities said they warned American investigators early in the case that the prints did not match Mr. Mayfield’s. In a report to Congress the office of the Justice Department inspector general said on Monday that it had opened an investigation into the bureau’s handling of the case. The report also said the Office of Professional Responsibility at the department was “reviewing the conduct of prosecutors involved in the case.”Full Story

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