• Boston finds Muslim surveillance program “flawed and problematic,” but implements it anyway

    Profiling May 13, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Muckrock. During the drafting process for the Greater Boston Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) framework, the Working Group acknowledged there was no consistent profile of a violent extremist and focusing exclusively on Islamist extremism may, in fact, isolate communities and prove counterproductive. The result, however, is a framework which admits its shortcomings even as it remains unable to rectify them. The final framework maintains a focus on Islamist extremism – even as it attempts to repackage itself to avoid doing so – and it continues to rely on behavioral indicators – even as it concedes that they lack any predictive utility.

  • ‘My crime was wearing a turban’: Sikh man arrested on US bus pursues justice

    Profiling April 29, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. It is an iconic American experience, a first long-distance trip in a Greyhound bus through parts of the south-west made famous by Route 66. When Daljeet Singh took the journey, though, he saw an altogether more dystopian vision of America: one in which it feels like a prejudiced and paranoid place where to be perceived as “Arabic” is to be viewed as a potential terrorist. Singh has complained to authorities in Texas and called for action after he and another man were arrested on suspicion of terroristic threats on 21 February when a fellow passenger alleged she heard them discussing a bomb and “acting weird”. He was detained by police in Amarillo for about 30 hours and released without charge after being interviewed by the FBI.

  • An entrapped Muslim man just attempted suicide, but does anyone care?

    Profiling April 13, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. “I want everyone to know that the next time I am violated by correction officers or their supervisors I will take my own life. If taking my own life is the only way to expose the evils that are practiced daily by corrections officers then I will be glad to do it,” as cited by John Knefel, 2016These words come from Ahmed Ferhani, a Muslim prisoner who was entrapped by the NYPD, sentenced to ten years in prison and attempted to commit suicide late last week.

  • Muslim infant searched by airport security after being placed on terrorist watch list: advocacy group

    Profiling April 9, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Raw Story. The Council on American Islamic Relations is accusing the U.S. government of placing a 7-month-old baby on the terrorist watch list, which resulted in his diapers and baby bag being searched at an airport, the Detroit Free Press reports. The baby, now 4 years old, was labeled as a known or suspected terrorist by the FBI on a federal watch list intended to screen potential terrorists, according to the paper. The child is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed this week claiming that U.S. Muslims have been unfairly targeted.

  • Class-action suit challenges US government’s watch list

    Profiling April 5, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Associated Press. For Yaseen Kadura, a U.S. citizen of Libyan descent, placement on the no-fly list caused problems far beyond the airport. Even after he was removed from no-fly list, many of the problems persisted. On Tuesday, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria on behalf of Kadura and thousands of other Americans who have been placed on the terror watch list. The suit seeks unspecified monetary compensation. Among the plaintiffs is a 4-year-old California boy, listed as Baby John Doe, who according to the lawsuit was placed on the list of known or suspected terrorists as a 7-month-old boy.

  • Who will become a terrorist? Research yields few clues

    Profiling March 27, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. What turns people toward violence — and whether they can be steered away from it — are questions that have bedeviled governments around the world for generations. Those questions have taken on fresh urgency with the rise of the Islamic State and the string of attacks in Europe and the United States. Despite millions of dollars of government-sponsored research, and a much-publicized White House pledge to find answers, there is still nothing close to a consensus on why someone becomes a terrorist.

  • American, Muslim, and under constant watch: the emotional toll of surveillance

    Profiling March 27, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. Over the course of more than four years between September 2011 and 2015, he received at least five visits to his home by NYPD and then FBI officers. He says the visiting officers came with no warrant and used threatening and provocative language. During a visit in September 2011, they even forced themselves inside his home. He and his petrified family members repeatedly told law enforcement agents presenting themselves at his residence to arrange for interviews in the presence of lawyers (who later followed up with agencies) – something law enforcement officials repeatedly declined to do. As extraordinary as this may sound from the outside, for lawyers, scholars, advocates and Muslim community leaders and members, Samad’s story is relatively benign. “These are common sub-judicial mechanisms often employed by law enforcement to coerce cooperation from members of the Muslim community to scrutinize and inform on their own,” says Omar Farah, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

  • CVE programs want teachers, health care providers and social workers to be informants

    Profiling February 26, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: BORDC/DDF. The metamorphosis of countering violent extremism (CVE) from a rhetorical framework to a principal strategy of US domestic counterterrorism regime hasn’t been without its share of troubles. Whether looking at the White House’s major CVE pilot program underway in Boston, Los Angeles, and in the Twin Cities aimed at each city’s sizeable Muslim-American populations, or the FBI’s “Don’t Be a Puppet” campaign, CVE in America disproportionately focuses on Islamic extremism and relies on stereotypical representations of Muslims. And while criticism of CVE actions typically zeros in on the suspicion-less surveillance programs that have compromised countless Muslim communities and chilled free speech rights, much less attention has been directed toward the way CVE programs are often structured to cultivate teachers, healthcare providers, and social workers as informants for law enforcement.

  • ‘Beyond absurd’: FBI and NYPD ‘interrogated’ man after he read online article about ISIS

    Profiling February 4, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: RT. A New York art manager, Aaron Saltzman, says he was interrogated twice by the New York Police Department and then the FBI over his reading material on the Islamic State. The article he read about ISIS appeared in an American magazine, The Atlantic. He had been reading the article on his computer, taking notes, while on a flight from Florida. The cover image for the story was a gunman pointing his gun to the sky, flushed in tones of orange, red and black. A passenger on the flight had seen it, got scared, and responded to law enforcement’s call of “If you see something, say something.”

  • Black drivers in Florida receive double the number of seatbelt tickets – study

    Profiling January 27, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. Black drivers in Florida are stopped and ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt significantly more often than their white counterparts, raising “serious concern” that law enforcement may be racially profiling motorists, according to a study released by the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday. Using data collected under Florida’s seatbelt law, the authors found that in 2014 black motorists were ticketed nearly twice as often statewide and up to four times as often in certain counties. national debate on racial profiling. In 2015, routine traffic stops were precursors to a number of high-profile police killings.