Ahmed Saleem, the Orlando regional coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was also one of the men arrested.
Saleem is also the founder of the Saleem Academy, an organization “empowering Muslim youth globally.” The CAIR website deleted any mention of him on Wednesday, and the Saleem Academy has now deleted its website and Facebook page.
Investigators said the men all traveled to a home in Clermont with the hopes of having sex with a child.
Saleem traveled to meet a 12-year-old girl in a car with a license plate that said, “Invest in children,” the Tampa Tribune reported.
“He’s well known as a community outreach leader interacting with teens in and around the Orlando area,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, according to IB Times.
“If we didn’t get you in this operation, you better be sure we will in the next one,” Judd said. “We are after you. Leave our children alone.” He added, “These are very dangerous people and they are after our children.”
The two-week bust, known as “Operation L and P,” standing for Lake and Polk counties in Florida, led to 100 other arrests.
The arrests were made after detectives in Polk and Lake counties in Florida posed as children between the ages of 12 and 14 by using a vacant house and chat forums to pose as a child, or someone looking for prostitution.
Many of the people arrested had jobs working with children, including theme park workers at Universal Orlando and SeaWorld, and a former Walt Disney World cast member who left that job before his arrest.
There were two phases of the operation: During the first week, investigators say, 22 people traveled to the city of Clermont in Lake County thinking they were going to have sex with a child between ages 10 and 14.