Wikileaks: Swiss Muslims went on walk, ended up in terrorist database
Truth is, I don't see the big scoop in this story. The Americans are concerned about possible attacks against their diplomatic missions.
Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten (NO) found a surveillance report by the American embassy in Bern, which noted that two Swiss Muslims might have been scouting out the American UN Mission in Geneva in October 2005. The surveillance team noted that the two had a sign in the back of their car with the word 'Islam' on it. The report was entered into the Security Incident Management and Analysis System (SIMAS).
A Swiss Justice Ministry spokesperson says that according to Swiss law the surveillance was illegal.
The two, Nemat Mardam-Bey and Hafid Ouardiri, say they often go for walks in the nearby park. Both have been spokespeople for Islam in Switzerland for years. Ouardiri was a spokesperson for the Geneva Mosque for 30 years. In 2009 he turned to the Human Right Court in Strasbourg after Switzerland passed a law banning minarets. In July 2009 he was a member of a European delegation of imams and rabbis who visited the White House, and met president Obama and his religion adviser Joshua DuBois. He was named an honorary citizen of New York by mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Since 1999 Ouardiri and Mardam-Bey have been running a center aimed at building inter-religious coexistence between Muslims and other religious groups. Mardam-Bey: We are peaceful people who are actually working to build a bridge between Muslims and other faiths.
Ouardiri was shocked when approached by Aftenposten, and is considering taking legal steps against the US. He told Aftenposten that such reports could endanger people and that the real terrorists are those who wrote the report.