By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press, October 20, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union accused the FBI on Thursday of abusing increased powers it was given after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by collecting and analyzing racial and ethnic demographic information across the country based on widespread stereotypes.
The civil rights group based findings in its report on documents obtained from the FBI through Freedom Of Information Act requests made last year through 34 ACLU affiliates. It said the partially redacted documents put on its website show the FBI crossed the line in its assessment of Arab Americans in Michigan, blacks in Georgia, Chinese and Russian-Americans in California and large groups of Hispanic communities in Michigan.
“The FBI’s own documents confirm our worst fears about how it is using its overly expansive surveillance and racial profiling authority,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The FBI has targeted minority American communities around the country for investigation based not on suspicion of actual wrongdoing but on the crudest stereotypes about which groups commit different types of crimes.” Continue reading