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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 22:43 GMT 23:43 UK
Agent suspended for anti-Muslim graffiti
Detroit
The Detroit area is home to a large Arab community
A US Secret Service agent who scrawled anti-Muslim graffiti in the home of an Arab-American suspect has been suspended without pay, federal officials say.


This action sends the message to law enforcement that this type of conduct will not be tolerated

Prosecutor Jeffrey Collins

The agent wrote "Islam is Evil" and "Christ is King" on a Muslim calendar while searching the home of suspect Omar Shishani - who has been charged with possessing fraudulent cheques worth $12m.

The 10-year Secret Service veteran - whose name has not been released - will be transferred out of southeast Michigan, where he has spent most of his career.

The area, near Detroit, has a large Islamic and Arab-American population.

'Remorse'

Prosecutor Jeffrey Collins said the six-month suspension "sends the message to law enforcement that this type of conduct will not be tolerated".

Omar Shishani
Shishani could face 15 years in jail
However the agent will not face criminal charges.

He was "sincerely remorseful" after confessing to writing the graffiti, Mr Collins said.

"He actually was crying during the time in which I was with him.

"I think his career, which was on a fast track for great things, has in essence been derailed by this behaviour," Mr Collins added.

The graffiti was found inside the home of Mr Shishani in Dearborn, Michigan, after FBI and Secret Service agents carried out a search there.

Terror allegations

The search took place on 18 July - a day after Mr Shishani, a Jordanian-born US citizen, was arrested after arriving at Detroit Airport on a flight from Indonesia.

He is accused of carrying $12m in counterfeit cashier's cheques.

Mr Shishani denies charges of counterfeiting and smuggling. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say Mr Shishani told agents he could provide information about terrorism. His lawyer says this is not true.

The Secret Service is a federal agency whose main duties include protecting the US president and carrying out criminal investigations.


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20 Jul 02 | Americas
09 Jul 02 | Talking Point
07 Sep 01 | Science/Nature
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