Most Hate Crimes Are

Race-Based, FBI Says

Racial prejudice lay behind more than half the 7,649 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2004, the bureau said yesterday. Hate crimes against black Americans were most prevalent.

The number of race-based incidents rose by 5 percent last year, to 4,042 from 3,844. Authorities identified prejudice against blacks in 2,731 of those crimes, the FBI said.

The number of hate crimes increased by 2 percent compared with the 7,489 in 2003, and there were slight declines in crimes motivated by bias based on sexual orientation and ethnicity, the FBI said.

The data also showed that crimes against Muslims have leveled off since a spike after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2001, there were 481 anti-Islamic incidents. There were about 150 in the three years afterward, the FBI said.

Among religious hate crimes, anti-Jewish incidents have long been the most common. Of the 1,374 incidents of religious bias, 954 were directed at Jews, the FBI said.

Rumsfeld Meets With

Chalabi at Pentagon

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met yesterday with Ahmed Chalabi, a deputy prime minister of Iraq who is considered a likely candidate to be the next prime minister.

Last year, U.S. forces raided Chalabi's Baghdad office after he was accused of giving U.S. intelligence information to Iran. He is still under investigation regarding those allegations.

In a 45-minute meeting in Rumsfeld's office, the two discussed the security and political situation in Iraq, and Chalabi expressed gratitude for the work of U.S. troops, a Pentagon official said. Pentagon officials did not allow TV or photo coverage of Chalabi's arrival at the Pentagon, and there was no coverage of the talks.

Later, Chalabi met with Vice President Cheney, and he also had talks with Robert B. Zoellick, deputy secretary of state. Last week, he met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush's national security adviser.

Ex-Aide Seeks Data

In Abramoff Inquiry

The former top procurement official in the Bush administration sought a wide range of documents yesterday from the criminal investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Attorneys for David H. Safavian, who is under indictment on five counts of lying and obstruction of justice, said he was targeted only to get at Abramoff.

Safavian is accused of concealing from federal investigators that Abramoff was seeking to do business with the General Services Administration when Safavian joined the lobbyist on a golf trip to Scotland in 2002. At the time, Safavian was GSA's chief of staff. A federal grand jury and a Senate committee are investigating Abramoff's lobbying activities.

At a hearing in federal court, Safavian's lawyers asked for some e-mails between Abramoff and a number of his associates that mention Safavian, even if the messages were not sent to the defendant. Safavian also wants handwritten notes of some FBI interviews in his case.

Justice Department prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg called Safavian's efforts a fishing expedition.

Safavian was given clearance to go on the trip to Scotland after telling GSA's ethics officer that Abramoff "has no business before GSA," according to the indictment in the case.

Around that time, Abramoff repeatedly contacted Safavian about the possibility of leasing the Old Post Office building in downtown Washington for his clients and the possibility of acquiring or leasing part of 600 acres in Silver Spring managed by GSA.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports