A recent draft report by the Department of Homeland Security urges authorities to conduct long-term surveillance of Sunni Muslim immigrants with “at-risk” demographic profiles.
The report, compiled in January for U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan and published Monday by Foreign Policy magazine, looks at the people behind 25 terrorist attacks in the United States from October 2001 to December 2017 and, based on their demographics, recommends Muslim immigrants be monitored on a “long-term basis.”
In examining the national origin and religious background of the people behind these attacks, the report suggests that there is “great value for the United States Government in dedicating resources to continuously evaluate persons of interest” beyond their initial screenings at ports of entry.
The surveillance policies – should they go into effect – would bolster the Trump administration’s goal of limiting immigration from Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s travel ban issued last fall, for example, blocked travelers to the United States from eight countries – six of which have Muslim majorities. Last week the administration said it would continue accepting refugees from Muslim-majority nations but would enforce stricter screening procedures to stamp out potential extremists.
The draft report follows a government report on Jan. 16 stating that three-quarters of those convicted of terrorism-related charges between 2001 and 2016 were foreign-born. The report, released by DHS and the Department of Justice, was applauded by President Donald Trump, who in a series of tweets cited the report and said “we need to keep America safe.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Marwa Eltagouri