A report by a Muslim group in the US has revealed that the overwhelming majority of entries on an FBI watchlist, or over 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 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 noted that for 20 years, the FBI’s secret list has brought hardship and fear to the Muslim community.
“But the FBI’s next million targets won’t be Muslim. With the War on Terror fog lifting, the FBI’s secret list will one day find a new target. The next targets will be our fellow Americans, and this report is meant as a warning to them,” added the report.
The Muslim group also called President Joe Biden to take action to address the watchlist.
Individuals on the watchlist encounter a range of challenges, including travel restrictions, immigration issues, encounters with the FBI, instances of police violence, difficulties obtaining permits and licenses, professional consequences, and limited access to government buildings.
In a recent incident involving access to a government building, Mayor Mohamed Khairullah of Prospect Park, New Jersey was unexpectedly disinvited by the Secret Service from the White House’s Eid al-Fitr celebration. This disinvitation was attributed to his watchlist status with the FBI.