Monday, July 07, 2008

Terrorist Profiling Without Evidence Considered in U.S.

An AP newswire article, via USA Today, reports that:

The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial or ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President George W. Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger national security investigations.

Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons, such as evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated, to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terror investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, could be deemed suspicious.

Among the factors that could make someone subject to investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity or access to weapons or military training, along with the person's race or ethnicity.

More here.


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