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It's Still Unclear Why CAIR-Ohio's Director Was Allegedly Spying For An Anti-Muslim Group

 Romin Iqbal
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WOSU
Romin Iqbal

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, said it still doesn't know what motivated alleged actions by the now-former executive director of CAIR-Ohio.

CAIR-Ohio fired Romin Iqbal last month and accused him of passing private information to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) for years. Extremism trackers consider the IPT an anti-Muslim hate group.

"Romin Iqbal did not come forward voluntarily. He has not explained what he did and why he did it," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, CAIR national deputy director, speaking during a news conference Wednesday on a larger spying operation uncovered during the investigation.

However, Mitchell said two former IPT informants have suggested money is the primary motivation for people who spy for the group.

Iqbal's attorney declined to comment.

Mitchell sought to reassure Ohio's Muslim community.

"We want to emphasize that there is absolutely no evidence that your community was targeted by anyone at all. Romin Iqbal didn't even really target the local Ohio community. His goal was to target national Muslim work. I just want to emphasize that to the community that of all the information we're sharing here, there is no indication that there's any other problem in Ohio or CAIR."

Mitchell also criticized Hilliard police for declining last month to pursue a criminal investigation into weapons sent to the group's Columbus headquarters using a CAIR credit card.

"I would certainly say the local law enforcement needs to investigate that more seriously; needs to find out what was being done. Why were these weapons purchased? Was it Mr. Iqbal? And what was he doing with this weaponry? Those questions have still been unanswered."

WVXU has requested a statement from the Hilliard Police Department.

Mitchell's statements Wednesday were part of a larger news conference on the ongoing investigation into alleged spying by the IPT on CAIR and other Muslim organizations. CAIR says another man, Tariq Nelson, came forward as a former informant following the December announcement.

The Washington Post reported the update extensively Wednesday.
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