An urgent request from Steve Downs, lawyer for Yassin Aref, and one of the founders of Project SALAMPlease help us build a database. You can help by adopting one or more of the defendants on the data base list and research articles on their cases. 

Steve says, “Only if we have a solid data base and some sound conclusions can we go and request assistance from Law Schools, media, politicians etc.  We need to do our homework before we can argue that the “terror” prosecutions of the Justice Department at home, were as flawed as their handling of terror suspects abroad.”

Purpose of Project SALAM

Project SALAM is devoted to researching and documenting the likelihood that the United States Justice Department’s post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecutions and convictions have included a significant number of Muslims who were in fact innocent of any crime. Other cases were severely overcharged and/or over sentenced.

Tactics Used in Prosecution

We also propose to examine the tactics and strategies of the prosecution in these cases to determine if the government, in their effort to obtain convictions against Muslims, has stretched legal concepts beyond the point where a fair trial is possible, and is unfairly damaging communities. Yassin Aref’s lawyer, Kathy Manley, has provided some guidelines on government tactics in these cases.

From Lynne Jackson, database manager

To Adopt A Defendant:

1) Go to
2) Click “Be a Guest”
3) Click the “Guest Account” and leave Account Name and Password blank.
4) Now, you should see the list of defendants.
5) On the left-hand side of the screen are the tools you can use.  Two tools you want to use are the little magnifying glass (to find a particular defendant) and the “book” icon.  The “book” icon lets you flip from page to page (of the 583 records, you can see 25 at a time).
6) Clicking the “Go” button next to a defendant’s name will give you more detailed information on the defendant.
7) To see an example of a defendant with information added, use the magnifying glass to find “Yassin Aref” (type “Yassin” into the “Defendant” field”)
8) Please pick one defendant to start.  (If a defendant has already been adopted, a name will appear by “adopted by”)
9) When you have chosen a defendant, please email me at, and I will give you an Account name and password.  Next time, sign in using your new Account name and password.  You will be able to add information for your defendant.

If you have any questions at all, please, email Lynne Jackson:

See reviews of two books by Steve Downs, The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo by Murat Kurnaz here.