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Lawsuit Wants NSA Surveillance Program Shut Down

A lawsuit filed Tuesday asked a federal court to shut down electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, based on claims the NSA illegally wiretapped conversations between the director of an Islamic charity and two of the charity's attorneys.

A chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a defunct Saudi Arabian charity, was established in Ashland in 1997 as a prayer house that also distributed Islamic literature. The chapter was indicted in February 2004 on tax charges alleging it helped launder $150,000 in donations to help Al Qaeda fighters in Chechnya in 2000.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland alleges the NSA illegally wiretapped electronic communications between the chapter and Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, both attorneys in Washington, D.C.