But that’ s only because there are so many Muslims on this list…and rightly so.
Stars & Stripes The federal government has acknowledged that it shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities, prompting concerns from civil libertarians that those mistakenly placed on the list could face a wide variety of hassles in their daily lives.
Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has filed a constitutional challenge to the government’s use of the watchlist, called the government’s admission shocking. “We’ve always suspected there was private-sector dissemination of the terror watchlist, but we had no idea the breadth of the dissemination would be so large,” Abbas said.
The watchlist is supposed to include only those who are known or suspected terrorists but contains hundreds of thousands of names. The government’s no-fly list is culled from a small subset of the watchlist.
The government’s admission comes in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Alexandria by Muslims who say they regularly experience difficulties in travel, financial transactions and interactions with law enforcement because they have been wrongly added to the list.
What’s more, the World-Check database has also listed major charities, activists, and mainstream religious institutions under its category of “terrorism”. Dozens of terror profiles in the database owned by Thomson Reuters include: CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. 10 Reasons why CAIR members are on the terror watch list
Abbas said now that the government has disclosed how many private entities receive access to the Terrorist Screening Database, the official name of the watchlist, it now needs to explain exactly which private entities are receiving it and what they’re doing with it. He’s asked a judge to require the government to be more specific. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.
Abbas wonders “Are universities taking TSDB status into account in making admission or disciplinary decisions? Are Inova Alexandria Hospital’s building security personnel screening visitors against the TSDB and denying entry to listees? Is Motorola screening its software engineers who work on cellular infrastructure equipment against the TSDB and firing listees? (One can only hope!)
According to Abbas, “the problem with disseminating the list is that the list itself is so faulty and littered with so many innocent names that, for all practical matters, the list is merely a compilation of ” Muslims who have never committed a crime.” (Not yet, anyway, but a lot Muslims talk about what they plan to do online)
“It is a fool’s errand,” Abbas said of the watchlist’s purported goal. “They are trying to predict, among the innocent, which people will be terrorists. That is an impossibility.” (No, it isn’t, not when the likelihood of the next terror attack being perpetrated by a Muslim is very high)