FBI Files Detail Muslims' Religious Practices

By: AP
By: AP
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI improperly stored details about Muslims' religious practices in investigative files.

The advocacy group cites documents from 2004-2008 that describe FBI agents in California shaking hands with Muslim leaders, passing out business cards and making note of the sermons and conversations they had with agents.

The ACLU obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act and says the records from the San Francisco FBI division show that the bureau secretly used its Muslim outreach efforts to collect intelligence on religious activities protected by the Constitution.

Under the U.S. Privacy Act, the FBI is generally prohibited from maintaining records on how people practice religion unless there's a clear law enforcement purpose. ACLU lawyers said the documents showed violations of that law.

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