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Arrest Announcements' Double Standard

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    ADC Questions Apparent Double Standard in Arrest Announcements Washington, DC, Aug. 6 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today questioned
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2004
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      ADC Questions Apparent Double Standard in Arrest Announcements

      Washington, DC, Aug. 6 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
      Committee (ADC) today questioned the high-profile announcement of
      arrests of Muslims in alleged terrorism cases by the Department of
      Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, while simultaneously downplaying equally
      serious anti-terrorism undercover operations involving Americans of
      other ethnic backgrounds. Yesterday, Aug. 5, arrests in two separate
      undercover cases were announced with very different levels of
      publicity, and consequent coverage by the media.

      In one case, a Deputy Attorney General and an FBI Assistant Director
      held a press conference in Washington, DC to announce the arrest of
      two alleged conspirators in a terrorism-related money-laundering
      sting. The defendants, who are associated with an Albany, NY,
      mosque, are accused of agreeing to launder money they believed was
      coming from the purchase of a shoulder-fired missile.

      On the same day, an announcement was made by a US Attorney in Chicago
      about another undercover anti-terrorism arrest. In this case, Gale
      William Nettles, 66, was arrested with a pickup truck containing
      1,500 pounds of fertilizer he allegedly thought was ammonium nitrate,
      the same substance used to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building
      in 1995. Nettles is accused of plotting to bomb a federal courthouse
      in Chicago.

      ADC contacted the DOJ and the FBI asking for a timely and clear
      explanation of the apparent double standard used in announcing the
      Albany and Chicago arrests, when they both appear to be dealing with
      terrorism suspects.

      ADC also noted that the Deputy Attorney General and the FBI Assistant
      Director failed to state that the individuals implicated in the
      Albany case do not represent the Muslim and Arab-American
      communities. Such a statement would have helped prevent the
      announcement from reinforcing negative stereotypes, fear and
      bigotry. ADC has documented an increase in hate speech following the
      press conference.

      While ADC is troubled by these aspects of the DOJ-FBI press
      conference, the organization is fully supportive of efforts to keep
      our country safe and to investigate, arrest, and prosecute criminals,
      regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.

      www.adc.org

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