WASHINGTON (AFP) – There have been some 532 attacks against Muslims, Sikhs and Arabs living in the United States since the 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington, FBI director Robert Mueller told a congressional panel.
“Since September 11th, we have initiated 532 hate crime investigations where the victims were either Arab, Muslim or Sikh,” Mueller told lawmakers at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Out of those investigations, federal charges were brought against 18 subjects, and local charges against 178 individuals,” he said.
“We appreciate, we thank and hope to continue to work with the members of the Muslim American and Arab American communities, who are, as I’ve always said, as patriotic, if not more patriotic, than most perhaps in this room,” he added.
“To the extent that there are those who don’t see that, don’t understand it and undertake hate crimes … we will be investigating, and charges will be brought and you will be doing time in jail,” Mueller warned.
His remarks came after American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee sent Mueller a letter last week urging him to speak out about hate crimes against Arabs and Muslim-Americans, following the recent upsurge of violence in Iraq and revelations about the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners there by US soldiers.