Draft DHS report called for long-term surveillance of Muslim immigrants

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Two Muslim women stand near a fence across the street from the White House before the start of a protest against the Trump administration’s proposed travel ban, in Washington, DC, on Oct 18, 2017. (photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Those fitting broad “at-risk” profiles would be targeted for continuous vetting.

By George Joseph | Foreign Policy | Feb 5, 2018


[The report] identifies a broad swath of Sunni Muslim residents as being potentially “vulnerable to terrorist narratives,” based on a set of risk indicators, such as being young, male, and having national origins in “the Middle East, South Asia or Africa.”


Department of Homeland Security draft report from late January called on authorities to continuously vet Sunni Muslim immigrants deemed to have “at-risk” demographic profiles.

The draft report, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy, looks at 25 terrorist attacks in the United States between October 2001 and December 2017, concluding there would be “great value for the United States Government in dedicating resources to continuously evaluate persons of interest” and suggesting that immigrants to the United States be tracked on a “long-term basis.”

If the report’s recommendations were implemented, it would represent a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s policies aimed at many Muslim immigrants, extending vetting from those trying to enter the United States to those already legally in the country, including permanent residents.

The report was produced at the request of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan on Jan. 22, according to internal DHS correspondence reviewed by Foreign Policy. The purpose of the report, the document says, is to “inform United States foreign visitor screening, immigrant vetting and on-going evaluations of United States-based individuals who might have a higher risk of becoming radicalized and conducting a violent attack.”

Foreign Policy, which reviewed the original draft document and related correspondence, is publishing a reproduced version of the text of the report.

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