A report by a Muslim group in the United States has revealed that the overwhelming majority of entries on a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watchlist, or more than 98%, are Muslim names.
The report, titled “Twenty Years Too Many, A Call to Stop the FBI’s Secret Watchlist,” details the FBI’s use of the Terrorism Screening Database, which it said is targeting Muslims. It was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday.
After being provided with a 2019 version of the FBI’s list by a Swiss hacker who discovered it online following its accidental posting by a regional air carrier, CAIR conducted a comprehensive analysis of over 1.5 million entries.
“More than 350,000 entries alone include some transliteration of Mohamed or Ali or Mahmoud and the top 50 most frequently occurring names are all Muslim names,” said the report.
“Of the watchlist entries we’ve reviewed, we estimate that more than 1.47 million of those entries regard Muslims—over 98 percent of the total,” it added.
The report further noted that for 20 years, the FBI’s secret list has brought hardship and fear to the Muslim community.
“For now over twenty years, the FBI has detained, surveilled, harassed, and destroyed the lives of innocent Muslims. The public record amply documents how these abuses, inflicted via always-expanding FBI powers, led not to a reduction in terrorism, but painful, farcical, and often dangerous abuses of Muslims…,” read the report.
“An individual’s watchlist status is used by government agencies to harass and humiliate people when they travel, to outright forbid people from flying, to deny individuals licenses and permits, to refuse to hire people or fire people already employed, to delay or deny visas and applications for U.S. citizenship or a US passport and subject the innocent people on the list to dangerous and invasive law enforcement actions,” read a press note by CAIR.
The report was released during US Council of Muslim Organization’s (USCMO) 8th National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.