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DHS and FBI Discuss National Intelligence Estimate with ADC

Washington, DC | July 17, 2007 | www.adc.org | Today, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined Muslim, Sikh and South Asian American organizations in a conference call with FBI, US Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and State officials to discuss unclassified information concerning today’s release of the National Intelligence Estimate report.
This follows a similar call held yesterday evening with ADC and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) to discuss today’s announcement. ADC and Sikh and South Asian American organizations have been actively addressing these issues since 9/11 and are active members of the DHS IMT. During the call, all organizations re-confirmed their commitment to developing best practices to combat extremism and radicalization, while also protecting civil rights and civil liberties.
Daniel Sutherland, Director of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at DHS, convened the call of the DHS Incident Management Team (IMT) with the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American communities which included briefings by senior-level officials at the FBI and DHS. During the call Federal officials emphasized that the National Intelligence Estimate summary released earlier today is a tool for policy makers based on generic information that is not geographically specific. Government officials confirmed that these communities, “are real assets in the struggle against ideological violence.” They added, “Some of the key successes we’ve had since 9/11 have come as a direct result of the partnership between government agencies and these communities.”
ADC acknowledges the DHS and FBI efforts in conducting this outreach and discussing these details. ADC emphasizes the need for continued dialogue and cooperation with law enforcement and other government agencies in order to combat negative misconceptions and the stereotyping of entire communities based on the actions of a few individuals.
The federal officials assured ADC and the other organizations that there is no evidence suggesting that recent terrorist incidents overseas have any relation to the United States. The officials also stated that these incidents are not and should not be reflective of any specific religion or communities and should not be taken as such by members of the media or the general population.
Further, ADC asks members of the media to be mindful of using terminology that associates these terrorist incidents or any generic assessment of national security threats with any specific religion as a whole or any particular ethnic or racial communities. Rather, as the officials clearly indicated today, these threats are inbound from outside the United States and are threats to all Americans regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religious orientation.