Justice Dept. Won't Let Federal Agents Profile Terror Suspects by Religion, Gender

Justice Dept. Won't Let Federal Agents Profile Terror Suspects by Religion, Gender

President Obama’s Department of Justice wants to “expand its definition of racial profiling” so that federal agents will no longer be able to consider religion, national origin, or gender/sexual orientation in their investigations.

According to The New York Times, this follows a decade of complaints from civil rights groups that Muslims “have been singled out in counterterrorism investigations” after Muslim terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. 

These changes will limit federal agents’ ability to fight and/or prevent terror attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing. In this way, the changes actually help Al Qaeda and Islamist terror by removing or limiting law enforcement tools.

ACLU national security attorney Hina Shamsi praised the proposed changes, saying: “Putting an end to [these profiling techniques] not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I.’s claims that it wants better relationships with minorities.”

The Bush administration also limited profiling in 2003 but with these distinctions: profiling was still allowed in cases where national security was at stake and in other cases it only barred profiling based on race. Attorney General Eric Holder has not said whether profiling will still be allowed where national security is at stake. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins

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