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Va. terror report cites state's colleges

April 26, 2009 at 5:21 PM   |   Comments

NORFOLK, Va., April 26 (UPI) -- Colleges and universities in Virginia's Hampton Roads area are potential breeding grounds for terrorism, a state police report contends.

A 200-page report issued by the state police's Virginia Fusion Center says terror and extremist groups have links to the state's schools, singling out unnamed historically black colleges and the evangelical Christian Regent University, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

Apparently referring to Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., and Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., the report notes that the Hampton Roads region has a diverse population and warns that "a wide variety of terror or extremist groups" have links to its universities, the newspaper said.

The report does not explain why the black schools are singled out. It drew criticism from Caroline Fredrickson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office, who mentioned the Virginia report in congressional testimony last week.

Such bulletins, she reportedly said, "would be laughable except that they come with the imprimatur of a federally backed intelligence operation, and they encourage law enforcement officers to monitor the activities of political activists and racial and religious minorities."

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