Muslim advocacy groups sued the FBI and the Department of Justice for failing to turn over records they requested on surveillance in the Muslim-American community.
The complaint filed Tuesday in US District Court in Santa Ana alleges the FBI only turned over four pages in a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request the community leaders made more than a year ago. The documents were not related to surveillance.
The FOIA request sought records that described the FBI's guidelines and policies for surveillance and investigation of Muslim religious organizations. It also sought specific information about FBI inquiries targeting 11 different groups or individuals.
The lawsuit states that all the plaintiffs - who include some of the most prominent Muslim leaders in California - have reason to believe they have been investigated by the FBI in recent years. The FOIA, a federal law which can provide individuals with access to information about the operation of federal agencies, requested documents dating back to January 2001.