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American Islamic leader struggles to put 'terrorist' raids behind him

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Iqbal Unus, Islamic leaderMore than nine years ago, federal agents looking for evidence of terrorism financing hustled Unus, the institute’s director of administration, and his colleagues into this very library. They were kept there for hours while computers and boxes of documents were carted out.

At almost the same time, 14 agents and police officers broke through the front door of Unus’s house with a battering ram and handcuffed his wife and daughter — a raid that sparked an unsuccessful civil rights lawsuit that the Unuses pursued all the way to the Supreme Court.

Neither Unus nor any other institute leaders has ever been charged in the government’s probe of a network of Herndon-based Muslim charities, businesses and organizations. But neither have they been formally cleared.

Unus has been wedged in an uncomfortable limbo ever since — a predicament that resonates with many Muslims who have encountered scrutiny and distrust in the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


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