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ACLU Wants Investigation into FBI Lodi Terrorist Probe

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Civil rights groups want records on the FBI's investigation into alleged terrorist activity in Lodi. They are concerned investigators have violated the rights of members of Lodi's Muslim community.
The groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the Japanese American Citizens League plan to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get records pertaining to the FBI's investigation into a possible al-Qaeda terrorist cell in Lodi.

The groups want to examine the policies and practices the FBI has used while questioning and detaining dozens of Muslims in the investigation.

Basim Elkarra of the Council on American-Islamic Relations detailed his group's complaints: "Threats of arrest or deportation used to coerce cooperation, unnecessary use of force, denial of medical treatment and constant FBI surveillance of regular mosque attendees."

The group says it has eight "verified" incidents of civil rights violations, including threats of deportation, humiliating two people in front of co-workers, threatening to charge people with jaywalking if they didn't cooperate, and not allowing attorneys to be present during questioning.

The FBI issued a statement denying that civil rights have been violated. "The agents investigating this case are conducting themselves in a professional manner and they are being sensitive to the cultural issues involved in this case. Some of the investigative techniques may make people uncomfortable, but they are not civil rights violations," the statement read.

Hamid Hayat, 22, and his father Umer, 47, were arrested last week in Lodi. Hamid Hayat is suspected of going to Pakistan to train at an Al-Qaeda terrorist camp. His father is suspected of supporting his efforts financially. Both are charged with lying to federal agents.

Three other Lodi men have also been arrested in connection with the investigation. Muhammed Adil Khan, 47; his son Mohammad Hassan Adil, 19; and Shabbir Ahmed, 42, are charged with immigration violations.
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