COLUMBUS, Ohio — The executive director for the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has been fired after an investigation found he was secretly working with "a known anti-Muslim hate group."
In a letter to community members, CAIR-Ohio's Local Columbus-Cincinnati Board of Directors said a forensic investigation conducted by a third-party expert found "conclusive evidence" Romin Iqbal secretly recorded CAIR network meetings and passed along confidential information to an anti-Muslim hate group. CAIR's national headquarters informed the Ohio chapter last week.
The non-profit said Iqbal admitted he had been working with the group.
"This betrayal and violation of trust was planned and purposeful, taking place over a period of years," the board said in its letter.
Following his termination, CAIR-Ohio said its Columbus office discovered a credit card administered by Iqbal was used to purchase from gun retailers in recent weeks. A CAIR-Ohio staffer also found a suspicious package mailed to its Columbus office Monday containing parts for an AR-15 rifle.
"We recognize the difficulty of receiving this information and the unease it brings," the letter says. "We all feel betrayed by a once-trusted leader and advocate whom we relied upon. However, our mission to protect the civil rights of Ohio Muslims transcends any one individual. We want to assure the community that CAIR-Ohio's local assets, operations, and infrastructure are safe and secure."
CAIR-Ohio said all information was shared with law enforcement officials who are investigating the situation.
"It is clear anti-Muslim extremists will stop at nothing to try to harm us," the letter says. "Although we are all shocked and saddened by these developments, we know civil rights organizations and movements for justice have been spied upon from within for decades...Despite these attempts to harm us, we are undeterred."
The board appointed Amina Barhumi as the region's acting executive director and Lina Abbaoui as acting legal director.
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