The Mysterious Origins of a DHS Report Calling for Sunni Muslim Surveillance

FP published a draft government report calling for the screening of Sunni Muslims. How do such reports come to be?


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In a draft report put together in late January, the Department of Homeland Security called for the continuous vetting of Sunni Muslim immigrants to the United States.

That report, obtained by FP contributor George Joseph, looks at 27 terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11, and states that there would be “great value for the United States government to continue in dedicating resources to continuously evaluate persons of interest,” and suggests that these immigrants to the United States be tracked on a long-term basis.

This week on the E.R., George joins us, along with a former DHS official, to discuss how this report reflects the Trump administration’s larger immigration policies, and its implications for the future.


George Joseph is a contributor to Foreign Policy with bylines also appearing in The Intercept, ProPublica and the Guardian. Follow him on Twitter: @georgejoseph94

John Cohen is the former acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis and counterterrorism coordinator at the US Dept of Homeland Security and currently a Professor at Rutgers University.

Martin de Bourmont is an FP editorial fellow. He previously worked as a reporter for the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia and as a reporting intern for the New York Times in Paris. Follow him on Twitter: @MBourmont

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter at: @weinbergersa.

February 17, 2018 | 4 Comments »

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  1. Or Mudhar Zahran as an Orthodox Muslim who supports Israel, women’s rights, etc. The flip side of this hypocrisy apparently hard-wired into the human condition is that it creates a possibility, however slim, that some form of Islam will one day prevail among Muslims that is not an evil despotism and threat and that lasts more than a generation or two, though, taquiya makes it impossible to trust for the forseeable future. It is too dangerous to permit Muslim immigration. If they identify as Muslims, they or their children are potential ticking time-bombs and if there are many of them, it becomes impossible to even try to keep track of them.

  2. Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

    Exodus 21:14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.

    Don’t ya just love religious liberals who base themselves on the Torah but try to say it doesn’t say what it says?

    That’s why I have no problem accepting Felix Quigley being a Trotskist who supports Israel or The Buddhists of Burma committing atrocities against, well anybody, for any reason.

    Very few true believers of any kind really take their founding texts literally. Most people want to have their cake and eat it, too. They want to do what they believe, but they don’t want to admit they are just doing their own thing. They want to feel the power and community of being part of a tradition.

    Hey, look at the Supreme Court. Constitution? where?

  3. “Mental Health?” Is that like “workplace violence” which is what Obama called the Ft. Hood shooting by a Muslim Major and Psychiatrist in the armed forces.

    Needless to say, they should be watching all potential terrorists, including White Supremacists, but if there are more White Supremacist killings, then why are nearly all of those reported, Islamist killings.

    Going back 30 years for statistical comparison is cheating. Most of the terrorists from those times aren’t even around any more. Question is, who must we fear today and tomorrow.

    All violent criminals are nuts. If they think they can detect red flags, great. But, it shouldn’t ever be a legitimate defense. The most important deterrrent is to make sure that whether at the time of the massacre or after a trial, the perpetrator should not survive. They may be crazy, but they are usually not suicidal or stupid. They clearly see themselves as movie action heros.

    They must be seen to receive what they most fear in return. They must be seen to be shamed, humiliated, degraded, and defeated, their spirits crushed, the veneer of glamour must be removed from their atrocities. I might add that liberal Hollywood has objected to calls to stop glamorizing such violence. I see posters in every subway and bus stop glamorizing gun toting commandos. I cannot believe Israel just returned 2 terrorists’ bodies.

    “KIndness to the cruel leads to cruelty to the kind.” – Maimonides

  4. There should be a green squad, just as their used to be a red squad, in every police department, to keep tabs on all Muslims, permanently with national coordination.

    The Orlando shooter was a second generation Muslim immigrant who had been watched for a time. They should never have stopped.

    The San Bernardino shooting was carried out by a second generation Muslim immigrant and his new green-card holding bride against his long-time co-workers in a city public health department who had thrown a wedding party for them the week before.

    Islam is more dangerous than Communism was. It should be treated at least as seriously.