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Arab-American, Muslim groups meet with U.S. attorney general

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (KUNA) -- Executives of the Arab American Institute (AAI), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday to discuss issues of concern to the Arab American and Muslim communities, the AAI announced on Tuesday.
The officials spoke with Holder about several controversial policies developed under the 2003 Department of Justice Guidance on Profiling, which include several loopholes allowing for widespread profiling based on race, ethnicity, religion and national origin, the AAI said.
Among the topics discussed were the 2008 Investigative Operational Guidelines, disclosures in the 2010 Inspector General Report on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data collection of identified "communities of interest, " the use of informants in terrorism cases, and the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, and PATRIOT Act reauthorization.
The officials stressed the importance of continued dialogue and additional efforts to promote partnerships between local communities and law enforcement, according to the AAI. "It is the national security loophole in the 2003 Attorney General guidelines on profiling that has provided the legal cover for many of the policies put in place during the previous administration, including the round-ups of thousands of Arab and Muslim immigrants targeted for 'special registration' and the 2008 Mukasey guidelines for the FBI," said AAI President James Zogby, referring to former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served during the final years of the George W. Bush administration. "As has been repeatedly demonstrated, profiling is ineffective, wastes precious law enforcement resources and alienates American communities eager to assist in keeping our country safe and secure." (end) rm.ajs KUNA 261819 Jan 10NNNN