Breaking News
More () »

CAIR-Ohio director fired for allegedly sending information to anti-Muslim group

CAIR-Ohio said its Columbus office found suspicious purchases from ammunition and gun retailers using a credit card with the organization that Iqbal administered.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A director for the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) has been terminated for allegedly recording meetings and passing on information to an anti-Muslim group.

"It is a complete act of betrayal," said Whitney Siddiqi, CAIR-Ohio’s community affairs director.

It was announced Tuesday that Romin Iqbal, the executive and legal director for CAIR-Ohio, was fired for ethical and professional violations committed over several years.

The organization reports an investigation by its national headquarters, which spanned months, uncovered evidence that Iqbal spent years recording CAIR network meetings and sending information regarding its national advocacy work to the group, The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Siddiqi says the group is known for spreading hate, anti-Islamic rhetoric and conspiracy theories about Muslims.

“We want the community to know that our work transcends any one individual,” Siddiqi said. “We know this is heartbreaking. We know it’s shocking. We know it is honestly a feeling that many of us can’t describe right now.”

Iqbal was first suspended last week after CAIR-Ohio was informed of the results of the national investigation. Local leaders then reviewed the evidence and conducted their own investigation. On Saturday, the CAIR-Ohio Columbus-Cincinnati board passed a resolution to terminate Iqbal, and he was informed of his termination on Tuesday.

However, one day prior, on Monday, CAIR-Ohio reported to Hilliard police suspicious credit card purchases and the arrival of a package containing an AR-15 pistol grip.

According to the report, the organization’s credit card was used to purchase nearly $4,000 worth of items from gun and tactical websites. One employee told police she feared Iqbal was “gearing up for some sort of retaliation attack against CAIR.”

Hilliard police on Thursday said there is no criminal investigation taking place at this time.

While Siddiqi pointed out that the organization cannot be sure who made the purchases with the company credit card, she made clear that Iqbal was the only one who had access to the card at the time.

She also added that, while there is no evidence of a direct threat to the CAIR-Ohio community, leaders are still encouraging mosques and community centers to be vigilant and review security measures out of an abundance of caution.

“Of course, when violations such as these are so egregious, such an act of betrayal, there is a heightened sense of making sure that we have secured everything, which we have done,” Siddiqi said.

CAIR-Ohio also reached out to the FBI, but the FBI could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.

10TV also reached out to The Investigative Project on Terrorism. The organization released a statement, but it did not address the questions asked or the termination.

Iqbal also directed 10TV to his attorney, who had no comment.

Meanwhile, CAIR-Ohio is working through this leadership transition.

“We are resolute,” Siddiqi said. “We are undeterred. We are so passionate about the work that we do, and we are ready to continue that work.”

CAIR-Ohio is considering legal action against Iqbal.

Local News: Recent Coverage ⬇️


Before You Leave, Check This Out