Muslim group: Probe FBI nominee on post-9/11 immigrant detainees

WASHINGTON – A Muslim civil rights group is calling on senators to question FBI nominee Christopher Wray about the treatment of immigrant detainees in the aftermath of 9/11.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to probe Wray at his confirmation hearing next week about his reported decision to curtail communication between hundreds of detainees and the outside world while serving in the George W. Bush’s Justice Department.

CAIR cited a story in the Daily Beast about how Wray, as principal associate deputy attorney general, directed his employees to impose a communications blackout between hundreds of immigrant detainees from the Middle East and Asia and their lawyers and family.

"Many of the leads that resulted in the detention of these immigrants were based on discriminatory religious and ethnic profiling and were meritless suspicion," the group said.

CAIR said Wray's move was “unconstitutional" but refrained from taking a public position on his nomination.

The group also asked senators to question Wray about what he knew regarding the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq. They indicated past testimony he gave to the same Senate committee more than a decade ago was “apparently misleading" given what was reported in a recent Miami Herald article.

Wray's stance on Russia meddling in last year's elections and alleged communications with the Trump campaign are expected to dominate his confirmation hearing.

Wray has deep Georgia roots, our colleague Rhonda Cook previously reported, and he's received high marks from several attorneys who previously worked with him in Atlanta. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wray's background at the Justice Department and private practice “certainly make him a suitable candidate to lead the FBI" and that he wanted to see Wray confirmed before the August recess.

Read more about Wray on myAJC.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is a senior reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's enterprise team, where she covers women in society, LGBTQ issues, the urban-rural...