FBI director Robert S. Mueller has apologised to a Sikh American civil rights and advocacy organization for remarks linking Sikh Americans to terrorism at an intelligence conference in October.
The apology came in response to a letter of concern from the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF) over a report in The Washington Times about statements made by Mueller.
"I would like to apologize for, and clarify, any misunderstanding that the account in this newspaper story may have caused," his office said in a letter to.
"The statement cited was intended to reiterate the FBI's responsibility for, and commitment to, deterring and investigating terrorist threats and activity. I can assure you it was not meant to single out any specific community, including Sikh-Americans."
Recognizing SALDEF's partnership with the FBI, the letter said: "The FBI and you, representing Sikh Americans and communities across the country, have worked closely together and developed an ongoing dialogue on a variety of issues of mutual interest,"
"This includes cultural awareness training to agents and professional staff, giving all of us a greater awareness into the struggles and concerns you face in relation to hate crimes and public misconception of your faith,"
Expressing satisfaction over Mueller's letter, SALDEF Associate Executive Director Jasjit Singh stated: "We are pleased that the FBI has addressed this issue promptly, however, this is indicative of the need for greater dialogue with the Bureau."
"SALDEF will continue to ensure that public officials do not malign or otherwise denigrate the Sikh American community with their comments or actions."