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Watchdog: US should explain probe of halal company

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A national civil rights organization is calling on U.S. authorities to explain their investigation of a leading maker of food for observant Muslims, saying it is concerned about the secrecy surrounding the seizure of the company's bank account and records.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group, says it wants more information about the Oct. 16 raid of the Midamar Corp. and the related investigation.

Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper says it isn't fair for the Cedar Rapids-based company to be crippled by the seizure of its funds when it hasn't been charged with a crime or even formally told what the government is investigating.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids is overseeing the investigation. Spokesman Peter Deegan says he cannot comment on sealed search warrants.

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