Posted on May 6, 2016

Homeland Security to Look Into Claim That Somali-Americans Were Targeted

Ron Nixon, New York Times, May 5, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it had opened an investigation into complaints by a Transportation Security Administration manager who said he was instructed to provide the names of Somali-American leaders visiting the agency’s office in Minnesota so they could be screened against national security databases for terrorist ties.

The department’s Office of Inspector General said it would look into allegations made by Andrew Rhoades, an assistant federal security director at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport that he was advised by his supervisor, David McMahon, to check potential Somali visitors to the agency’s offices with the field intelligence officer to determine “if we want them in our office space or meet elsewhere.”

The public disclosure of the comments by Mr. McMahon quickly drew accusations of racial profiling.

Somali leaders in Minnesota condemned the remarks, saying the episode would damage outreach efforts by the T.S.A. and other federal agencies, and called for an inquiry. {snip}