Saturday, December 24, 2005

Radiation levels at Muslim sites in USA monitored

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24. — US authorities have been secretly monitoring radiation levels at hundreds of private and predominantly Muslim sites, including mosques, across the country amid fears that terrorists might obtain nuclear weapons.
Law enforcement personnel were conducting “passive operations in publicly accessible areas to detect the presence of radiological materials, in a manner that protects US constitutional rights,” a spokesman for the justice department, Mr Brian Roehrkasse, said.
US News and World Report, citing people it did not name, said many of the sites that federal agents had monitored were mosques or the homes or businesses of Muslims, and the report set off a dispute between a Muslim group here and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement: “This disturbing revelation, coupled with recent reports of domestic surveillance without warrant, could lead to perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights. “All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims,” he added. However, FBI assistant director Mr John Miller said in a statement that his agency “does not target any group based on ethnicity, political or religious belief.”

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