Chicago (AP) - FBI agents in
The FBI on Friday searched eight addresses in
"The government's trying to quiet activists," Fennerty said. "This case is really scary."
More than half a dozen agents went to Abudayyeh's home on Friday and took any documents containing the word "
A message left for an FBI spokesman in
Warrants suggested agents were looking for links between anti-war activists and terrorist groups in
Fennerty said Abudayyeh has done nothing wrong and doesn't have any ties to terrorist groups, including Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007. His name was also spelled "Hatam" on FBI documents.
A subpoena delivered to one of the
"Hatem wouldn't even touch Hamas," Fennerty told AP. "Hatem is a secular guy, he's not interested in Hamas."
Abudayyeh, a longtime advocate for immigrant rights, has had close personal and professional ties to the Arab American Action Network for decades. But Fennerty said he did not believe the group to be the focus of the FBI's investigation.
Abudayyeh's parents immigrated to
The nonprofit group advocates for Arabs and new immigrants. Recently, its focus has been to combat anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Abudayyeh has not traveled to
"He's a very caring person, active in his community and other communities," Fennerty said. "He's a father."
Abudayyeh didn't return multiple requests for comment and neither his cell phone nor office phone could take messages Sunday because voicemail boxes were full.
Word of the raids sent a ripple throughout activist circles.
One group of anti-war activists in
"These raids are an attack on the entire anti-war movement," said Maureen Murphy, a member of the Palestine Solidarity Group in
FBI officials, who served six warrants in
Those served were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in
The homes of longtime
Several activists said they thought the searches amounted to "fishing expeditions" in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision.
In June, the Court rejected a free-speech challenge to the law from humanitarian aid groups that said some provisions put them at risk of being prosecuted for talking to terrorist organizations about nonviolent activities. The federal law cited in the search warrants prohibits "providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations."