Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2006

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

In Response to London Terrorism Arrests, U.S. Government Officials Speak With American Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian American Leaders  

Conference Call Held to Discuss Continuing Cooperation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Leaders of the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities participated in a nationwide conference call today with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government officials in which both sides pledged to work together to protect our country and safeguard the civil rights of the various ethnic and religious communities. The conference call demonstrated that the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities are actively involved in helping to secure the country, and that the government is actively engaged with these communities. The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties led the call.

Besides DHS, other agencies participating in the call included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice and Department of Treasury. Representatives of the United Kingdom also participated in the conference call.

During the conference call, ethnic and religious leaders made clear their continuing commitment to and cooperation with U.S. Government officials to protect our nation's security. Government officials also pledged to continue their work to protect all communities and uphold civil rights and civil liberties.

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer Daniel Sutherland stated, “This call reflects our commitment to building strategic partnerships with the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities.”

“The FBI appreciates the cooperation of the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities and the efforts of local community leaders as well as other members of the community to maintain an ongoing dialogue with us. They are essential partners in our efforts to protect all our neighborhoods from terrorism, crime, and violation of our rights and civil liberties,” said Brett Hovington, Unit Chief, Community Relations at FBI Headquarters.

U.S. Government officials and community participants expressed their shared belief that entire ethnic and religious communities should not be held responsible for the actions of individuals. Additionally, they stressed that the assistance of members of the American Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities has been vital to the government's counterterrorism efforts.

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