Source: FBI National Press Office
On February 28, 2003 the FBI National Press Office issued a press release stating "FBI Director Robert S. Mueller met today with key leaders of national Arab-American, Muslim, and Sikh organizations. The meeting built on earlier discussions on a number of issues -- ranging from vigilante attacks and other hate crimes to the value of continuing assistance from the Arab-American, Muslim, and Sikh communities... 'Protecting the civil rights of all Americans remains a top priority for the FBI,' said Mueller. 'I'm vitally concerned that the rights of Muslim, Sikh and Arab Americans be protected. The FBI stands prepared to take strong and immediate action against hate crimes in the event of any anti-Arab American backlash to world events...' The FBI's aggressive response to hate crimes has sent a clear message that vigilante attacks will not be tolerated. To date, the FBI has initiated 414 hate crime investigations involving Muslim, Sikh, and Arab-American victims, with 17 persons being charged federally thus far. Additionally, some 129 persons have been charged with state and local crimes in connection with those investigations."