NEW YORK - (AP) - Federal prosecutors are taking steps to seizefour U.S. mosques and a New York City skyscraper owned by anonprofit Muslim organization.
The organization - called the Alavi Foundation - has long beensuspected of being under Iranian government control. Prosecutorssay the foundation has been helping to illegally funnel money backto the Iranian government.
The government filed a forfeiture action in federal court in NewYork to seize four mosques in the city and in Maryland, Californiaand Houston. The government also wants to take control of a36-story office tower on New York's Fifth Avenue.
The filing starts what could be a drawn-out legal process.
The action against the Shiite Muslim mosques is sure to inflamerelations between the U.S. government and American Muslims. Many ofthem are fearful of a backlash after last week's Fort Hood shootingrampage, blamed on a Muslim American soldier.
The mosques and the office tower will remain open while theforfeiture case works its way through court.