Feds quite interested in a spinach-like plant in Moodus, CT. They also seized computer discs and documents. Note also the name of the place. Deobandis are dominant in Afghanistan, where they ruled as the Taliban and are still quite influential. From the Hartford Courant, with thanks to Cindy:
EAST HADDAM — Federal agents raided a Muslim campground in Moodus Friday morning, seizing specimens and seeds from what they believe is datashak, a plant native to India.
Members of the FBI and U.S. Department of Agriculture said in documents that they also seized 19 computer discs and an assortment of documents from the 18-acre Town Street property, owned by Darul Uloom Shady Brook Inc….
Documents that the agents left with Rahman for the property owners said the focus of the search was any and all seeds, plants – whether growing or harvested – of datashak. The warrant was signed by U.S. Magistrate Donna F. Martinez.
The agents noted in a document that Bank of New York deposit slips, books and documents were seized. They also sought maps, directions, and gas receipts relating to travel.
FBI spokeswoman Lisa Bull would confirm only that agents conducted “investigative activity” at the Moodus property, in support of the agriculture department.
The Shady Brook property was purchased in 2003 for $505,000 by Aziz Jafri of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. At the time, Jafri said the aging summer camp would be rehabilitated and either be operated as a camp or leased….
Sarder said that some of the confiscated datashak seeds were mailed from Bangladesh, while others were purchased in stores.
A Bangladesh-related website said that the tender datashak leaves and stems are rich in vitamin A and C, calcium and iron and are considered a vegetable, generally cooked with fish or other vegetables.
Leslie Alexander, a program aide at the University of Connecticut’s Home and Garden Center, said that datashak can be found in cereals and flours and does not appear to contain any toxicity.
George Jansky, an area resident, noting that he’s worked at the campsite for 32 years, said that the recent summer camp taught English and the Muslim religion.
“This is what the people like to eat,” he said of datashak.
Jansky said he knows that there have been racist remarks made to Muslims at the camp. He said there were people driving by who asked whether throwing hand grenades was part of the curriculum.
Darul Uloom is the name of a seminary in Deoband, India, self-described as a cornerstone of “Islamic sciences.” Founded in 1866, it teaches an Islamist version of Islam. According to Islamists, Islam is not only a religion but also a political system that governs society and the state.