A federal judge in California ruled April 27 that an alliance of Muslim organizations cannot review certain records of FBI investigations into their activities, but also admonished the government for lying about the existence of the files.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that several Muslim organizations, who believed they were being unfairly targeted, cannot see the files due to national security concerns.

However, Carney also said the government mislead the court as to the existence of the files. Federal officials had claimed they fully executed the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in eventually deciding to withhold the files.

“The district court was justifiably annoyed with the government’s withholding of documents from the plaintiffs and the court,” Carney wrote in his ruling. “The withholding misled the court into believing the government had complied with all its statutory obligations under the FOIA.

“We do not necessarily endorse the government’s conduct during the litigation, but we agree with the government that the Sealed Order contains information that should not become public,” he continued.

The Muslim community was upset with the ruling, saying they’ve been placed under surveillance but have been given no indication as to why.

“I know that I am under surveillance, I just want to know the reasons for that and I want to know whether that is warranted or not, I want to know if it is legal or not,” Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, told the Associated Press.

The case heightened concerns among the Muslim community that the government was spying on them. One such point of contention was the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), created after 9/11 to track people coming into and leaving the U.S., primarily from Muslim countries.

That program was ended the same day Carney’s ruling was released, to the pleasure of Muslims nationwide.

“We welcome the decision by officials to drop an ineffective and burdensome program that was perceived as a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a statement. “We support our government’s efforts to secure America while remaining an open society that is true to the Constitution.”