After a group of Somali Muslims filed complaints to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson that they felt “harassed and profiled,” they were given special behind-the-scenes tours at a major U.S. airport to make up for it, and allowed to give feedback for “modifications that would allow operations to be more culturally sensitive.”
This alarming report just in from Judicial Watch, who has learned that on at least two separate occasions (December 18, 2014 and February 18, 2015), at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, federal authorities allowed “unprecedented excursions of the facility’s sterile and secure areas,” according to TSA records.
The DHS agency that conducted the expeditions, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), provided the Muslim participants with “an in-depth, on-site tour and discussion of CBP’s airport, including both inbound and outbound passenger processing,” the TSA files state. Besides multiple roundtable meetings between CBP and Somali community leaders including imams, the records show that a luncheon and “cultural exchange and educational brief” also took place between December 2014 and February 2015 so that attendees could ask about the agency’s “specific practices” at the airport.
Here’s the person Judicial Watch says is responsible:
The roundtable events and airport tours were organized by Abdirizak Farah, who is identified in the records as a policy advisor in the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). Farah joined DHS in 2010 with an annual salary of $89,033 and by 2015 his yearly pay increased to $130,453, according to a government databse.
A TSA officer admitted it:
The TSA’s “Somali liaison officer” in Minneapolis, Andrew Rhoades, told Judicial Watch that the special airport tours were organized for Somali Muslims after they complained to Johnson that they felt “harassed and profiled” by CBP at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The DHS secretary had “a sympathetic ear to that,” Rhoades said, adding that no other group has been granted such airport access by DHS. “Now, I will say we’ve never done that, or we don’t do that, to let’s say the Hmong community living here in Minneapolis, uh, the Christian community, the Catholic community, the Irish… whatever you want to call it. This has been the only one,” Rhoades said.
Just how dangerous is this? More from Judicial Watch:
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is the nation’s 17th busiest in terms of passenger traffic, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It gets more than 35 million passengers annually and nearly 200,000 metric tons of freight. The region has a large Somali Muslim community and Somalia is a terrorist nation that’s largely controlled by the extremist group Al Shabaab.
The FBI and Congress have launched probes into the radicalization of the Somali American community in Minnesota. Al Shabaab recruits young men in local mosques and ships them off to train and fight in Somalia. Last fall the area’s largest newspaper published a story confirming that Minnesota leads the nation in the number of people who have left or sought to leave the country to fight with terrorists aligned with ISIL or ISIS.
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