• NYPD Undercover “converted” to Islam to spy on Brooklyn College students

    Profiling October 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Gothamist. This past April, two Queens residents, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, were arrested and charged with allegedly planning to build a bomb. While little is known about the case against Velentzas and Siddiqui, including how and why the NYPD came to involve an undercover officer in the alleged plot, it appears that Mel (the officer) made an aggressive effort to befriend and surveil law-abiding Muslims years before she ever met her alleged targets, and did so at least up until December of 2014, eight months after the de Blasio administration pledged to stop the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of innocent Muslims.

  • NYC joins global network of cities to ‘counter violent extremism’

    Profiling September 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: AlJazeeera America. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at the United Nations on Tuesday that his city will join an international coalition of municipalities that share information and best practices in order to counter violent extremism. Civil rights advocates and Muslim organizations in the United States, however, worry the move to join the Strong Cities Network (SCN) could lead to abuses by law enforcement, especially against the Muslim community. ISD policy and research head Jonathan Birdwell told Al Jazeera the network will be sensitive to the concerns of Muslim communities and won’t neglect the dangers of right-wing groups. Since the network is launching now, he asks civil rights groups to give it a chance. But rights organizations told de Blasio that “the reality is that CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) is targeted overwhelmingly at Muslims. … Indeed, we are not aware of a single CVE outreach program in the U.S. that is aimed at any other community.”

  • Somalis in Minnesota question counter-extremism program targeted at Muslims

    Profiling September 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. With a population of at least 30,000, the Somali people are a significant presence in the Twin Cities, home to more 3.5 million people. Many in the the Somali Muslim community are alarmed at a US attorney-led program that they believe singles them out as more blood thirsty than other ethnic or religious groups, and makes them vulnerable to surveillance. The Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program will launch a number of yet-to-be-announced grants to programs aimed at creating educational and professional opportunities among the Somali Muslim community in Minnesota. The goal is to prevent youth recruitment by overseas extremist groups such as Isis or al-Shabaab. But even before any specifics of the program have been announced, the program has engendered dramatic hostility and division within the Muslim Somali community. Those opposed to the premise of the program point out that 96% of domestic terrorism is committed by white men. The exact figure is disputed, but all statistics have it at more than 90%. “The idea that this Muslim community needs help, itself for this issue is problematic,” says Jaylani Hussein the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).

  • Was FBI contact with blogger profiling or outreach?

    Profiling September 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Seattle Times. Government agents make a surprise visit to a young journalist’s home with questions about articles he’s written on an emerging protest movement. It may sound like a scene from a distant and frightening land, but it happened last week to 22-year-old Jama Abdirahman, a college student and recent graduate of the Seattle Globalist’s youth-reporter apprenticeship program. But it was a story Abdirahman wrote about Black Lives Matter protests, specifically about women in the movement, that interested the agents. Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of CAIR Washington, says that these sort of FBI visits to members of the Muslim community aren’t uncommon.

  • FBI spy plane zeroes in on Dearborn area

    Profiling August 5, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Detroit News. An airplane linked to an FBI surveillance program that tracks alleged terrorists, spies and criminals has flown at least seven times over Metro Detroit, including two lengthy flights over the Dearborn area last weekend, according to public records. The 2010 single-engine Cessna Skylane is part of a small air force operated by the FBI that uses high-tech cameras and sometimes cellphone surveillance technology. An Associated Press investigation in June revealed that the FBI had flown more than 100 flights in 11 states over a 30-day period. Flight data reviewed by The Detroit News shows increased flights over Metro Detroit in the past week with prolonged surveillance over Dearborn, a city heavily populated by Muslims and Middle Eastern residents. In all, the FBI surveillance plane has flown over Metro Detroit seven times since Friday.

  • 5 Black women have been found dead in jail in the last month

    Profiling July 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. Though the Black Lives Matter Movement is led by black women, stories of their experiences with law enforcement have been largely overshadowed by the narratives of black men. But the national outcry over Sandra Bland’s death has been unusual. Her name trended on Facebook and Twitter for days. #JusticeForSandraBland trended on Twitter for just as long. Perhaps her own outspokenness on racial justice issues through her video series #SandraSpeaks made the story behind her death more compelling for mainstream news outlets to pick it up.

  • Counter-extremism or ethnic profiling? Congress can’t decide

    Profiling July 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is pushing for a new office at the Department of Homeland Security to counter homegrown violent extremism. It would be funded at $10 million annually for four years.Or, as some of its critics complain, taxpayers would pay $10 million a year to formalize racial profiling in the highest echelons of government. Several civil rights, Muslim, and Arab-American organizations have spoken out against the measure, sponsored by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and passed out of that committee Wednesday evening by voice vote.

  • US police killings headed for 1,100 this year, with black Americans twice as likely to die

    Source: The Guardian. Police in the United States are killing people at a rate that would result in 1,100 fatalities by the end of this year, according to a Guardian investigation, which recorded an average of three people killed per day during the first half of 2015. The Counted, a project working to report and crowdsource names and a series of other data on every death caused by law enforcement in the US this year, found that 547 people had been killed by the end of June. When adjusted to accurately reflect the US population, the totals indicate that black people are being killed by police at more than twice the rate of white and Hispanic or Latino people. Black people killed by police were also significantly more likely to have been unarmed.

  • 40 reasons why our jails are full of black brown and poor people

    Blogs, Profiling June 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports 2.2 million people are in our nation’s jails and prisons and another 4.5 million people are on probation or parole in the U.S., totaling 6.8 million people, one of every 35 adults. We are far and away the world leader in putting our own people in jail. Most of the people inside are poor and Black. Here are 40 reasons why.

  • Black people in Minneapolis nine times more likely to be arrested for petty crime

    Profiling May 28, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. Black people in Minneapolis are 8.7 times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than white people, according to an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The research into racial disparities in policing also found that native American people were 8.6 times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than white people. White youth, however, while making up 40% of the city’s youth population, accounted for only 14% of youth arrests.