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Muslim on No-Fly Lists Still Gets an Invitation to GOP Fundraiser

May 07, 2005|From Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — A year after federal agents raided his home in a terrorism investigation, Muslim businessman Syed Maswood is lucky to get on an airplane without being detained and searched.

But that didn't stop him from getting an invitation to dine with President Bush.

Maswood, a nuclear engineer who has not been charged with a crime and has been trying for months to get his name off no-fly lists, received an invitation to serve as an honorary chairman at a Republican fundraiser with Bush in Washington next month.

A Republican who has donated money to GOP campaigns, Maswood said he briefly considered attending, but his wife refused to fly. The last time they were in Washington, he said, they were held for hours at the airport.

"I didn't want to go stag," Maswood said, "and she's absolutely adamant."

FBI and Homeland Security agents raided Maswood's home last year because he donated money to the Benevolence International Foundation, approved as a charity by the IRS before being accused of supporting terrorism.

A Bangladeshi immigrant who became an American citizen in 1997, Maswood spent much of the last year writing letters demanding to know why he was detained whenever he traveled.

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