Washington, Oct 23: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a national organization advocating individual rights, has accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of using racial, ethnic and religious profiling to fight crime and domestic terrorism within the US.
In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, the ACLU pointed to “growing evidence suggesting that the FBI is illegally and unconstitutionally targeting innocent Americans for investigation based upon their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, and political activities.”
“The documents we have started to receive confirm our worst fears,” wrote ACLU officials who have filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to find out how the FBI is using racial and ethnic data as part of its investigations.
“Although often heavily redacted, these documents, obtained from a number of different field offices, demonstrate that FBI analysts are using improper and crude racial stereotypes regarding the types of crimes committed by different racial and ethnic groups,” they wrote.
The FBI then collects demographic data to map where people of those racial or ethnic groups live, they added in the latter written to Holder.
The result, charges the ACLU, has been “racial profiling on an industrial scale,” the Christian Science Monitor reports.
The FBI has, however, stated flatly that it “does not investigate individuals, groups, or communities based on ethnicity or race.”
But in a statement, the FBI also noted the reality of the post-9/11 world as it sees it.
“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 added. (ANI)