ACLU: FBI guilty of 'industrial scale' racial profiling
The ACLU says the FBI is guilty of racial profiling when investigating criminal threats. The FBI says it is taking into account the reality of the post-9/11 world.
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But in a statement, the FBI also noted the reality of the post-9/11 world as it sees it.Skip to next paragraph
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“Certain terrorist and criminal groups target particular ethnic and geographic communities for victimization and/or recruitment purposes,” the FBI said. “This reality must be taken into account when determining if there are threats to the United States.”
“To fulfill its national security mission, the FBI cannot simply wait for people to report potential threats,” the FBI statement continued. “To be threat-based and intelligence driven is to find previously undetected criminal and terrorist threats ... Just as putting push pins on a map will allow a local police chief to see clearly where the highest crime areas are, combining data that is lawfully collected into one place allows connections to be identified that might otherwise go unnoticed.”
Arab and Muslim American officials are not satisfied with such answers.
"To map Arabs and Muslims as suspect communities tells us that the FBI believes that we are predisposed to criminality, which is not only untrue but is also an inaccurate means of investigating crime,” the Michigan office of the Council on Islamic Relations said in a statement Friday.
"I understand that it's the FBI's job to protect the safety of our nation, and we are part of that,” Mr. Hamad said. “Safety is everyone's responsibility. But if we're going to truly be partners in this, then you can't treat us as suspects. You can't have it both ways – we can't be a partner and a suspect at the same time."
In addition to Arab-American and Muslim communities in Michigan, the ACLU also pointed to what it sees as racial profiling as part of FBI investigations of “Black Separatist” groups and recent African American population increases in Georgia, Russian and Chinese organized crime operations in San Francisco, and Hispanic communities in several states faced with threats posed by the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, street gang.