ACLU: FBI used outreach to collect info on Muslims

December 1, 2011 - 1:52 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI has been using community outreach programs, which are intended to build partnerships, to collect information on Muslims.

Documents obtained by the ACLU show that some FBI agents were documenting names, emails, phone numbers, physical descriptions and opinions of people they met at Muslim-related events in Northern California.

The FBI says some of these documents are from actual investigations and are not part of the community outreach program reporting. The documents are so heavily blacked out that it's not immediately clear what they are.

The bureau's community outreach program is designed to improve the public's trust in the bureau. The FBI says it's standard for agents to record basic information about people they met with at outreach events.