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Tag: profiling

TSA Whistleblower Says He Was Ordered to Racially Profile Somali-Americans

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA employee testified before Congress Wednesday that his superiors instructed him to racially profile Somali-Americans.

Andrew Rhodes, the current TSA assistant federal security director art Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, laid out the allegations in testimony at the House Oversight Committee, CNN reports. 

One of the largest Somali populations likes in Minneapolis.

“Not only does the TSA mistreat its employees, it alienates entire communities,” Rhoades testified. “On April 8, 2016, my supervisors asked me profile Somali imams and other Somali community members. I refused.”

Rhodes said he received very specific instructions: “With our current world affairs that we need to be mindful of those we interact with and advised that employee should check with the field intelligence officer on potential visitors to determine if we want them in our office space or meet elsewhere.”

The TSA said in a statement that it “does not tolerate racial profiling.”

“TSA takes allegations of racial profiling seriously,” the statement read. “We are reviewing this complaint and will take appropriate action if there is evidence that any TSA officer acted inappropriately.”

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Accused in Lawsuit of Racially Targeting Latinos in Northern Ohio

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of law school students in Ohio teamed up with a nonprofit law firm to filed a federal lawsuit against Border Patrol, alleging agents are targeting Latinos in the northern part of the state, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The suit is seeking arrest records and polices following actions by agents in the Border Patrol office in northern Ohio.

“We have reason to believe that Border Patrol agents in Sandusky Bay are engaging in racial profiling to target individuals who appear Hispanic, for unlawful enforcement activities,” said Jason Luebbers, a third-year law student at OSU.

The suit was filed by Ohio State University’s law school and a nonprofit law firm, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Toledo.

The law firm sought the records on Aug. 18 but have yet to receive a response.

CBP officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Justice Department Wants to End Profiling Based Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation

By Steve Neavling

tickethewire.com

The days of profiling may be over for federal law enforcement, according to a report obtained by the Washington Post.

The ban on profiling would apply to people based on their ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

One impact of the policy, for example, would be prohibiting surveillance of mosques without proof of wrongdoing.

No exemption will be given for national security investigations either, the Post reports.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said his upcoming retirement from the position won’t stop him from pursuing this.

“There remains a great deal to be done,” he said. “I have no intention of letting up or slowing down.”

Newark Star-Ledger: FBI Surveillance’s Lasting Impact Reminiscent of NYPD’s Snooping in Newark

Editorial Board
Newark Star-Ledger 

In its hunt for terrorists, the New York Police Department hid moles in Newark mosques and sent agents into Paterson bodegas. The spying stayed secret until boxes of documents were leaked to the Associated Press.

Here’s what was exposed: The NYPD’s surveillance of New Jersey Muslims never turned up a useful lead. But it bred mistrust in those neighborhoods — of police, the government and each other. The damager will outlast the cops’ cloak-and-dagger failure.

The American Civil Liberties Union has evidence of a nearly identical FBI program to
track and map racial, ethnic and religious groups across the country — under a 2003 law that protects the agency’s profiling. In 2011, ACLU lawyers sued for details about who, where and how the feds are watching these communities. This week, a federal appeals court ruled the FBI can keep its spy mission secret.

No one doubts the value of national security. But dangerous, discriminatory policies — particularly those directed at Muslim Americans since 9/11 — undermine trust between law enforcement and those communities. In the end, we’re all less safe.

To read more click here.

Muslims Oppose Appointment of Raymond Kelly As New Homeland Security Chief

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The potential nomination of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to the top position at Homeland Security has enraged Muslim-American groups, the Huffington Post reports.

Islamic groups said Kelly, as the head of the nation’s largest police force, oversaw the targeting of innocent Muslim based solely on their religion. Kelly also played a role in an anti-Islamic film, they said.

Kelly is believed to be a top choice of Obama to replace Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.

“Ray Kelly has a proven record of violating Americans’ basic civil rights,” said Glenn Katon, legal director of Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group based in San Francisco. “His willingness to use discriminatory policing methods against innocent citizens should concern Americans of every faith, ethnic and racial background.”

Michigan Muslims Sue FBI over Allegations of Profiling at Border

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The tension between federal law enforcement and the Muslim community here continues to ebb and flow.  On Friday, it was flowing.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) was scheduled on Friday in Detroit to announce  that it is suing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and the FBI, claiming Muslims have been unfairly detained and questioned about religious beliefs at and inside the U.S.-Canada border, according to a press release distributed by the PR Newswire.

The suit, the press release says, represents 4 U.S. citizens who claim they were cuffed and questioned without cause by CPB and FBI agents. Questions included:

“How many times a day do you pray?”

“Do you pray your morning prayer in the mosque?”

“Who else prays in your mosque?”

CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a statement issued on Thursday: “Invasive religious questioning of American citizens without evidence of criminal activity is not only an affront to the Constitution but is also a waste of limited resources.”