U.S. Stepping Up Detentions Under New “Terrorist Profile”


Border guards detai Wissam Charafeddine every time he crosses from Windsor into the U.S., says the Detroit News. Without explanation, he has been handcuffed in front of his parents and held apart from his pregnant wife for hours in isolated detention. Charafeddine says he has done nothing wrong, “not even a driving ticket.” Authorities, who always release him, say there is no remedy. Charafeddine is among a large group of Arab-Americans and Muslims who are detained for undisclosed reasons whenever they cross the border.

As early as this week, the U.S. Department of Justice will announce a “terrorist profile” by which Muslim men of Arab and Pakistani descent who frequently travel abroad and maintain extensive international contacts may be subject not only to stops at the border but also to full-fledged national security investigations, which may include electronic surveillance, detentions, searches and interrogations, regardless of whether they are suspected of wrongdoing. Civil rights organizations are preparing to fight the new guidelines. While federal officials say the department will not violate the U.S. constitution, civil liberties advocates say they are alarmed. “What is dangerous is that they’ve moved away from reasonable suspicion of criminality into the area of what they are calling suspicious behavior,” said Michael German of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Link: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080804/METRO/808040380

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