FAIRFAX, Virginia (AP) — Federal agents Thursday raided the Fairfax offices of a Saudi-based institute that served as a meeting point for men convicted of conspiring to support terrorism.
A task force of federal agents, including the FBI, carried out boxes but made no arrests in the raid of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences.
An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday.
The institute was a meeting point for a group of Islamic men who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001 as preparation for holy war, according to prosecutors. Nine of the 11 men charged in what prosecutors called a “Virginia jihad network” were convicted in federal court for their roles in the group.
Earlier this year, 16 Saudi diplomats affiliated with the institute had their passports revoked. State Department officials said the diplomats were teaching at the institute rather than serving as diplomats.
Lawyers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations observed the raid.
“We’re concerned that this may be perceived in the Muslim community as a fishing expedition,” council spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.
Hooper pointed out that a variety of Muslim businesses and charities were raided more than two years ago as part of a broad investigation into alleged terrorist financing, but that no charges have been filed against those charities.