A 2002 raid on a series of Northern Virginia businesses and the homes of their officers suspected of terror financing was handled properly and was not the product of any false claims by law enforcement, an appellate court ruled this week.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from two women whose home was searched that agents misled a court to obtain the warrant, and then mistreated them during the search by breaking down their door, guns drawn and later handcuffing the women for several hours during the search. The women, the wife and daughter of Iqbal Unus of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), claimed Treasury Agent David Kane, author of the affidavit used to secure the search warrant, fabricated information. For example, they argue he made up the label of "the Safa Group" for the web of businesses operating out of the same Herndon office building with the same corporate officers that also were subjects of the 2002 searches.
The 4th Circuit rejected this claim, writing:
By using the term "Safa Group," not only did Agent Kane not make a factual misrepresentation, he made no factual representation at all. He simply applied a label in order to shorthand the identification of the persons and entities being investigated. On the second page of the Affidavit, Kane stated, "For ease of reference, I will refer to the web of companies and charities . . . as the 'Safa Group.'" [Emphasis added]
The investigation continues, with its focus believed to be on the IIIT itself. A refusal to testify before a federal grand jury in the case, despite a grant of immunity, prompted criminal contempt charges against admitted Palestinian Islamic Jihad supporter Sami Al-Arian. A decision on his motion to dismiss the contempt case is expected soon.