CHICAGO FBI CHIEF VISITS SIKH GURDWARA IN PALATINE IL HATE CRIMES AND SECURITY ISSUES DISCUSSED
Chicago, USA, Feb. 26, 2016
R.S. Mago/ NRIpress.club
Palatine, IL: The Sikh Religious Society Palatine Illinois hosted FBI Chicago Region’s Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson for a friendly visit to its Gurdwara in Palatine, IL on February 26, 2016. The visiting guests included Mr. Christopher Veatch Assistant U.S. Attorney Northern Illinois Division and Amrith Kaur Aakre Assistant State's Attorney Cook County Illinois. The purpose of the visit was community outreach, to meet and get to know each other, and to have an informal discussion of Sikh community issues.
Mr. Michael J. Anderson was appointed as the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of investigations Chicago Field Office in September 2015. There are 56 FBI Field Divisions in the nation, and Chicago is the fourth largest in the country.
Mr. Anderson most recently served as section chief of the Employee Services Section in the Human Resources Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
He began his career with the FBI in 1995 in Miami Florida and later had several assignments at the FBI Headquarters, New Orleans, Dallas etc. supervising intelligence, public corruption, white-collar crime, civil rights, covert operations, and the foreign language program.
He supervised investigations of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson; Hurricane-Katrina related public corruption and government fraud. He also launched the International Contract Corruption Initiative (ICCI) targeting Iraq reconstruction-related fraud and corruption.
Now in Chicago, he has made keen efforts to take time out to outreach various communities in his jurisdiction.
Mr. Anderson was welcomed by the society president Mrs. Jasbir Kaur Saluja, board members, and community leaders. He was given a tour of the facilities.
Mr. Anderson and the group attended an informational slide presentation, by Amrith Kaur Aakre, about Sikhs and their issues while living in this country.
“This meeting with FBI leadership, U.S. Attorney and Cook County State's Attorney's officers was to build and maintain cooperative relationships with law enforcement. The presentation to them was to create an awareness of Sikh appearance, turban, beard, Kirpaan, Five K's the articles of faith the external tangible symbols which are constant reminders of the core Sikh values,” explained Rajinder Singh Mago the coordinator of the event.
Mr. Anderson was also presented with a poster, depicting Sikh Soldiers in World Wars who gallantly fought and died for the allies, by Sarwan Singh Raju.
Mr. Anderson explained his past experience with civil rights, current job responsibilities in Chicago and his plans to increase resources for community outreach. A free flowing cordial dialogue during Q&A session ensued where curbing the prevalent hate crimes against Sikhs, TSA issues at the airports, and mitigation of safety and security concerns, were discussed.
"Civil rights violations such as hate crime, including threats or acts of violence based upon religious bias, will not be tolerated by the FBI. The Chicago Field Office will ensure that all its necessary resources will be dedicated to fully address such crimes, including close collaboration with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners and its many private organization allies such as the Sikh American community," said Mr. Michael Anderson Special Agent In Charge F.B.I. Chicago Division.
Mr. Anderson sat on the carpeted floor to observe the Sikh worship congregation, listened to the Keertan (Singing of hymns) and was invited to address the Gurdwara congregation. He introduced himself to the community and assured his personal attention in case of a need. He encouraged the community members to seek employment opportunities with FBI. "I like to see my staff to look like the community they are serving," he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mr. Christopher Veatch who is National Security and Cyber Crimes Section Chief and prosecutes domestic terrorism cases also assured his cooperation and support to the community during his remarks to the Sikh leadership group meeting. He was also invited to address the Sikh Congregation.
“The United States Attorney’s Office is dedicated to building the support, cooperation, and trust of the communities we serve and protect. The Sikh community has been and continues to be an important partner in the shared effort to keep our communities safe. We will continue to work with the Sikh community to perform our duties in a manner consistent with civil liberties, diversity, and commitment to religious freedom,” said Christopher Veatch Assistant United States Attorney Northern Illinois Division.